Today the angels in the highest are celebrating their joy with people–and descending to earth proclaim the good news to the world: Rejoice today–Christ has risen from the dead. (Sharagan)
On this jubilee year of the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity in Armenia–in a joyful coincidence–this year the whole Christian world celebrates the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on the same day.
The proof of Christ’s Resurrection–the central basis of our faith and its triumph–once again reaches us today from heaven through the testimony of the angels.
"Today the angels in the highest are celebrating their joy with people–and descending to earth proclaim the good news to the world: Rejoice today–Christ has risen from the dead."
Once again joy has manifested itself everywhere. The voice of justice and truth–the bindings of love–and the hope for eternal life has conquered. Death–sin and darkness were defeated.
The first witnesses to the same joy were Christ’s apostles who met the resurrected Lord–received His life giving greetings and personally heard His message and were sent out for the redemption of the world. And those who shared the joy also shared the deliverance–for they truly understood the mystery of Resurrection.
Praise the Lord that our forefathers received the joyous message of Resurrection from the apostles who witnessed Christ’s Resurrection and shared the joy of victory. The same joyous message and exhilaration acted as a lighthouse to our spiritual life–enlightening and brightening Armenia for 1700 years.
The first Easter Holiday of the new millennium coincides with our nation’s spiritual rebirth and the 1700th anniversary of national proclamation of the glorious victory of resurrection.
1700 years ago–the only Begotten descended upon our homeland and established the foundations of the first Armenian Apostolic Church.
1700 years ago–our spiritual father–St. Gregory the Illuminator–saw our Lord and lived his life inspired by His Resurrection. He fought against the forces of evil and threat of death–defeated them and with the spirit of Resurrection–led our nation to a new spiritual life.
1700 years ago–like Saul–Tiridat the King of Armenia heard the voice of the Lord: "why do you persecute me?" (Acts 9:4) and by Paul’s example he was converted and became the Great Christian King of Armenia.
With the warmth of the Easter Holiday and inspired by the message of the 1700th anniversary of our spiritual rebaptism–let us renew our faith and our forefathers’ oath. Let us wonder with our spiritual eyes to all the sites which our Lord paced through–and with the spirit of the resurrection–as pilgrims–let us arrive at Der Zor and reaffirm our faithfulness to the testament of our martyrs–and let us spiritually restore our lives in Armenia–in Artsakh and all over the diaspora.
May truth–justice and love be the driving forces in our lives–to lead us to abundant life.
May King Tiridat’s and St. Gregory the Illuminator’s collaboration and the strength of partnership act as cornerstones and examples for our national-political and religious-church governance–in order to lead our people with the same God-pleasing life full of faith–hope and love as 1700 years ago.
With great spiritual delight–on the occasion of the Resurrection of our Lord–we convey our blessings to our Prelacy clergy–members of the Representative Assembly–members of the Religious and Executive Councils–parishes and educational committees–our national and community organizations–and our faithful people.
It is our prayer that according to the words of our canticle writer–"Today–we also let us exalt with the mystery of the feast. And with God’s reconciliation–let us greet each other and say: "Christ has risen from the dead."
Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate–Western United States