The Paschal Homily
of St John Chrysostom
If any be pious and a lover of God, let him delight in this fair and radiant festival. If any be an honest servant, let him come in and rejoice in the joy of his Lord. If any have wearied himself with fasting, let him now enjoy the recompense. If any have worked from the first hour, let him receive today his just reward. If any have come after the third, let him feast with thankfulness. If any have arrived after the sixth, in no wise let him be in doubt; in no way shall he suffer loss. If any be later than the ninth, let him draw nigh, let him not waver. If any arrive only at the eleventh, let him not be fearful for his slowness, for the Master is munificent and receiveth the last even as the first; He giveth rest to him of the eleventh even as to him who hath wrought from the first hour. He is merciful to the last and provideth for the first; and to this one He giveth, and to that one He showeth kindness. He receiveth their labours and acknowledgeth the purpose, and He honoureth the deed and praiseth the intention. Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of our Lord, and let the first and the second take part in the reward. Ye rich and ye poor, join hands together. Ye sober and ye heedless, do honour to this day. Ye who fast and ye who fast not, be glad today. The table is full: do ye all fare sumptuously. The calf is ample: let no one go forth hungry. Let all enjoy the banquet of Faith. Let all enjoy the wealth of righteousness. Let no one lament his poverty, for the Kingdom is made manifest to all.
Let no one bewail transgressions, for forgiveness hath dawned forth from the tomb. Let no one be fearful of Death, for the death of the Saviour hath set us free. He hath quenched Death by being subdued by Death. He Who came down into Hades, despoiled Hades; and Hades was embittered when he tasted of Christ’s Flesh. Esaias, anticipating this, cried out and said: Hades was embittered when below he met Thee face to face. He was embittered, for he was set at nought. He was embittered, for he was mocked. He was embittered, for he was cast down. He was embittered, for he was fettered. He received a body, and encountered God. He received earth, and met Heaven face to face. He received what he saw, and fell whither he saw not.
O Death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the Angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life doth reign! Christ is risen, and there is none dead in the tomb! For Christ is raised from the dead, and is become the first-fruits of them that slept.
To Him be glory and dominion unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Christ is risen!
Truly, He is risen!