What Will One Say And Feel While Standing Near the Holy Sepulchre?

Hustle and bustle goes quiet near any grave, even a human one.

Every grave speaks by its silence.

Everything that began on earth ends here. Any human truth stops here. One can only either cry disconsolately here or search for another truth and another life… Which one of us has not experienced these feelings? What will one say and feel while standing near the Holy Sepulchre, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified…”?

Yes, it is truly the Glory of the Son of Man before us.

Humiliated, condemned, injured, wearing the thorny crown and a red robe, He is already lifeless and wrapped in a burial shroud before us today…

This is His Glory…

It is the glory of love and devoting Himself voluntarily to “the life and salvation of the world”.

Christian, stop before this frightening and mysterious Sepulchre.

Your Savior came to this earth Himself, drained the bitter cup of your sufferings, and took on the heavy burden of your sins in order to save you and give you back into your Father’s embrace. In return, direct your heart towards your Savior.

The days are approaching when the joy of Holy Pascha will open for all of us by the grace of God. But is our soul ready for this joy? … Is our heart pure? …

The Holy Sepulchre silently addresses the conscience of all of us and calls us to stand in God’s Judgment before the fiery and searching look of God’s Truth, Which was crucified, Which suffered and was buried.

“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you,” the Lord speaks to us as well. Only the one who manages to feel wholeheartedly the power of Christ’s sufferings, by which we are morally obliged, and reply to them in one’s life, will taste God’s Pascha.

epmef02Bishop Methodius of Campagne-les-Hesdin (Vladimir Nikolaevich Kulman in the world) was born on July 12 (25), 1902 into the family of a famous professor of Slavonic studies. He graduated from a high school in St. Petersburg, later he emigrated to Bulgaria with his parents (1920-1922), then to Prague, where he graduated from the Department of History and Philology at a Prague university in 1926. In 1931 he graduated from St. Sergius’ Theological Institute in Paris. He received the tonsure in 1930, entered the priesthood in 1931. In 1932 he became rector of Christ the Savior Church in Anieres. In 1953 he became Bishop of Campagne-les-Hesdin. In 1948 he founded a monthly magazine called “Eternal”, which introduced thousands of readers to the treasury of Orthodox spiritual thoughts.

In 1952 Archimandrite Methodius organized a Russian Orthodox pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Paris and presided over it. It was the first pilgrimage since 1914. 18 pilgrimages took place under his guidance for twenty years since 1914, i.e. until 1972.

Bishop Methodius passed away on Great Saturday on April 13, 1974 several hours before the beginning of Paschal divine service and was buried in the crypt of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos Church in Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois.

Translated from the Russian by Maria Trushanina

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