Christ is risen!
We use this statement, this and every year, to declare our victory over death.
This year, despite this cry of victory, our joy is mixed with sadness and pain as the whole world is afflicted.
As a result of the spread of this deadly pandemic, many people have become ill, some have died, and many are risking their lives working in hospitals to protect us. Meanwhile, the Church continuously prays to God to keep this pandemic away from the entire world.
We will not talk about the causes of this pandemic; we will leave the causes and methods of treatment to the experts because whatever we say, we have not the expertise to find solutions to get rid of it.
However, we must admit that this virus has made us see many positive aspects in our lives.
- Recognising that we need divine aid in staving off the danger that surrounds
- Remembering that God has a role in our lives.
- Allowing our homes (in which the Lord has missed hearing our rejoicing and prayers) to become small churches in which we can pray and serve.
- Our disjointed and isolated families have now reunited, become closer, and now converse with each other, debate and pray The result is our homes are places of vibrant love and joy.
Dear fathers, Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Let us transform our prayers into a daily Easter, and our hearts a tomb, from which the God of all will be resurrected.
Let us reflect on ourselves and repent of the sins that we have committed towards God, towards one another, and towards nature.
Let us draw closer to God not only through communion, “which has become a habit among some of us,” but through continuous prayer, strengthening God’s presence in our hearts, and purifying us from our sins.
Let us learn from our many saints, led by Saint Mary the Egyptian, who repented from her sins and lived forty seven years in the desert without seeing anyone or receiving the holy gifts, but at the end, receiving the forgiveness and grace of the Lord and became a great saint in our church.
Symeon the New Theologian says: “The holy readings that we deliver every Sunday and at Easter does not say ‘As we believed in the resurrection of Christ,” but “As we have seen the resurrection of Christ, let us bow down to the Holy Lord” ’... because the resurrection of Christ really takes place in the soul of each and every believer individually, and that not once, but at every hour."
The Resurrection is a personal salvation, a heavenly and earthly joy, for we are the people of the resurrection, and because of that we have no fear at all.
Spiritual warfare is always with the forces of darkness, but the only victory over it comes through faith in the Resurrection.
If Easter is not to be celebrated in our Church buildings, let us remember that every encounter with Christ in prayer is Easter, and whenever we call His Name, we receive the same grace. And if we are deprived of the Divine Liturgy, we are not deprived of the Lord, because we have His Name, His Word, and His Gospel. And if His Word dwells in us, we will always have His Grace, because His words are the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)
I rejoice with every submissive heart, and bent knee, praying for the salvation of this world because the prayer of the righteous is so powerful.
With joy I greet all of you with the Paschal greeting, full of love and faith, that brings salvation, wishing you good health and holiness.
Christ is risen! He is Risen Indeed.
God bless you all.
+ Silouan, Metropolitan of the British Isles and Ireland
Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East
Saint Dunstan of Canterbury Orthodox Church
Christ is Risen!
Truly He Is Risen! Glorify Him!
A Parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East
Saint Osmund's Road, Parkstone, Poole, BH14 9JG
Parish priest: Fr Chrysostom, tel. 01202 602628;
Assistant priest: Fr Filip, tel. 01308 868543
Vespers is normally served on Saturdays at 5.00pm and on Wednesdays at 6.00pm. Fr. Chrysostom is available for Confession afterwards or by appointment. Orthros is served before the Divine Liturgy on Sundays at 8.45am.
For other services, etc., you can use the download button below to see our current Newsletter for all services this month
Statement Concerning the COVID-19 Virus
The outbreak of COVID-19, known as Corona Virus, continues to be widely covered in the media, causing feelings of anxiety among certain people. We do not have to take extreme measures at present but it is important that, as a community that worships together, we should be vigilant and observe the rules of hygiene, as we would normally, in order to avoid the spread of any seasonal disease.
The symptoms of the current virus are fever, cough, shortness of breath. Anyone with these symptoms should self-isolate immediately for at least seven days, and NOT attend the Divine Liturgy. You should ONLY seek medical advice if the symptoms grow worse. In that case DO NOT go to your GP but telephone the NHS on 111. To prevent the spread of the virus, again, we should all follow common-sense practices.
These include the thorough and frequent washing of hands and being sure to cover any cough and sneeze. Any tissues that we use should be disposed of quickly and personal items should not be shared. There is nothing difficult in this and, of course, such behaviour is appropriate and necessary at any time.
We shall, as ever, follow common-sense measures at church. All items frequently used, such as icons or the blessing cross will, as ever be thoroughly cleaned.
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