“This is the day which the Lord has made: let us keep it with gladness and rejoicing.” Why should we do so? Because the sun is no longer darkened; instead everything is bathed in light. Because the veil of the temple is no longer rent; instead the Church is recognized. Because we no longer hold palm branches; instead we carry the newly enlightened [those who have just been baptized]. This is the day in the truest sense: the day of triumph, the day custom consecrates to the resurrection, the day on which we adorn ourselves with grace, the day on which we partake of the spiritual lamb. This is the day on which milk is given to those born again, and on which God’s plan for the poor is realized. Let us keep it with gladness and rejoicing, not by running off to the taverns, but by hastening to the martyrs’ shrines; not by esteeming drunkenness, but by loving temperance; not by dancing in the marketplace, but by singing psalms at home. This is the day on which Adam was set free and Eve delivered from her affliction. It is the day on which cruel death shuddered, the strength of hard stones was shattered and destroyed, the bars of tombs were broken and set aside. It is the day on which the bodies of people long dead were restored to their former life and the laws of the underworld, hitherto ever powerful and immutable, were repealed. It is the day on which the heavens were opened at the rising of Christ the Lord, and on which, for the good of the human race, the flourishing and fruitful tree of the resurrection sent forth branches all over the world, as if the world were a garden. It is the day on which the lilies of the newly enlightened sprang up, the streams that sustained sinners ran dry, the strength of the devil drained away and demonic armies were scattered.
-- Unknown Greek Author of the Fifth Century, Easter Homilies 51.1-3
Spring Issue IC 56/ PASCHA 2010