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Primate's Easter Message

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  • Primate's Easter Message

    BURBANK, CA 91504
    TEL: (818) 558-7474
    Fax: (818) 558-6333
    E-mail: [email protected]


    "To me, living is Christ and dying is gain".(Philippians 1:21)

    Inspired and enriched by the mystery of the Holy Resurrection of Christ
    the words of St. Paul are as powerful as a prayer. The same words not
    only come as powerful prayer echoing in our hearts, but as a way of
    life, because we realize the truth that "Christ loved us and gave
    himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Eph. 5:2)

    The mystery of the Holy Resurrection of Christ becomes the essence of
    our spiritual life only when the old person in us is reborn and we
    fearlessly inaugurate the new man, " to put away your former way of
    life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed
    in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self,
    created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and
    holiness." (Eph. 4:22-25)

    The entire spiritual journey of Lent leas us to the glorious mystery of
    the Resurrection of Christ, which ushered in for mankind a new life and
    the Christian believer discovered within himself the divine power that
    enables one to constantly renew his life to the extent that he feels in
    his soul the miracle of the new life.

    Dear faithful, with a joyous heart we send you our Easter Message and
    call upon all of you to rededicate you lives to Christ, to enter the
    depths of the mystery of the Holy Resurrection through the most noble
    life of prayer, and to discover in your souls the divine grace which
    makes it possible for us to renew our God-given lives. Undoubtedly each
    one of us needs the power of regeneration. Life may often be influenced
    by the manifold temptations of the world, but when a life is established
    on the cornerstone of the life-giving Resurrection of Christ it can
    repel the perils that it encounters every day.

    The glorious Resurrection of Christ opens before us the dawn of a new
    life. The Giver of life opens before us a new way in Christ, the Son of
    God, so that through the sacrifice of His life becomes the spiritual
    light of a new life for the entire human race.
    Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!
    The foundation of our Christian faith is the Holy Resurrection of
    Christ. Without the Resurrection of Christ Christianity would become for
    us a set of moral principles for life and a guiding doctrine. But
    Christianity is life itself, the source of salvation, because it is
    anchored in the personal sacrifice of Christ. Christianity is the
    movement from the mind to the heart that is dawned first in our own
    thoughts and then becomes the moving energy of our entire being. It is
    not possible to explain in words alone our faith in the Holy
    Resurrection. The Resurrection of Christ is ever spreading force that is
    kneaded in our essence and separates us from the foreign thoughts that
    have no root in God. In the words of St. Nersess the Graceful we subject
    our souls entirely to God and we take refuge in His power. "To you I
    surrender my soul. You provide and satisfy the needs of my soul and

    Dear faithful, the resurrection of Christ casts the roots of new life
    also in our Holy Church when we awaken in us the vision of a new Church,
    a revitalized Church. The Armenian Apostolic Church has reached such a
    critical moment when the mission of our Holy Church must echo the new
    circumstances of life. And to revitalize the Church means to lead the
    very same Church to a spiritual rebirth in the mystery of the
    Resurrection. To revitalize does not mean to reject the traditions that
    have reached us through the centuries, but to connect the people to
    those traditions, and to reunite as one reality the Church and the
    people who are drawing apart from one another. For when the Church does
    not reflect our life today she remains merely a concept, a lifeless
    doctrine. We are living in times when Christianity remains disconnected
    to man, when one turns to other sources to satisfy one's spiritual
    thirst, sources that provide only temporary satisfaction to one's
    spiritual needs. Today this is the reality in Armenia and in the
    Diaspora. The reality is no different for the faithful of the Western
    Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. In order to satisfy
    their spiritual thirst children of our Church leave the Mother Church
    and lead their lives on the paths of uncertainty. The situation dictates
    that we stay in our home and rejuvenate, renew and enrich the traditions
    of the Armenian Church that have reached us through the centuries. The
    Church is not a reality detached from us, and it is necessary to make
    the active life the very aim and purpose of the Church through visible
    actions. Anything else would suggest weakness, which we reject.

    The glorious Holy Resurrection of Christ today is an invitation to all
    the children of the Armenian Apostolic Church without exception to
    return home. The mystery of the glorious Resurrection of Christ becomes
    real when through Holy Etchmiadzin a new unity is established in our
    community, a unity whose strength will enable us to see more brightly
    the eternal truths.

    Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

    Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate
    Easter 2004