Let every pious man who loves God rejoice in this beautiful and glorious
Let the devoted servant delight to share the joy of his Master!
Let him who has fasted diligently now receive the promised reward!
Let the labourer of the first hour come forward to receive his due,
Let him of the third hour also render thanks and be joyfull
Let him of the sixth hour have no doubt: nothing
will be held back from his wages!
Let him who waited until the ninth hour
approach without hesitation or fear,
and let him who appeared only at the eleventh hour not be afraid,
for the Lord is generous! He welcomes the last as the first.
He gives rest to the labourer of the eleventh hour,
as to the one of the first hour.
He is full of mercy towards the former,
and of kindness towards the latter.
He commends the completed work
and appreciates the intention.
He esteems the act, and he lauds the desire
Enter ye all to the joy of your Master
First come or last, now take your reward!
Rich man or poor, you can celebrate together!
You who have abstained, and you who have neglected to do so,
honour this day! Whether you have fasted or not, exult today! The banquet
is ready: come all and sit down; the calf is fat: let no one go hungry! Enjoy the
banquet of Faith, gather the riches of mercyl Let no one deplore his poverty,
for a Kingdom has appeared which
belongs to us all! Let no one lament his faults, since pardon has sprung from
the tomb! Let no one fear death: foe the death of the Saviour has liberated us!
He who was its prisoner has vanquished it. He who descended into hell has
overcome it. He has struck down the death which tasted His flesh. Isaiah
prophesied about it:
‘Hell was brought low by death when it met You under the earth,’ Hell was
brought low by death because You have annihilated it; brought low by death
because You have laid it low; brought low by death because You have
enchained it. View yourself as flesh,you will find yourself before God; View
yourself as earthly, it is Heaven you will see. Regard yourself as visible,
and you will find yourself face to face with the invisible. Where then is
thy sting, O death? Hell, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and thou
art brought lowl Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen,
and the Angels rejoice! Christ is risen and Life remains.
Christ is risen and the tombs are emptied of their dead, Christ
has risen from the dead; For He is the first of them all!
To Him be glory and power for ever and ever.
St John Chrysostom