A Homily of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Holy and Radiant Day of the Most Glorious and Saving Resurrection of Christ our God.
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
If any be pious and a lover of God, let him partake of this fair and radiant festival. If any be a faithful servant, let him come in rejoicing in the joy of his Lord. If any have wearied himself with fasting, let him now enjoy his reward. If any have laboured from the first hour, let him today receive his rightful due. If any have come at the third, let him feast with thankfulness. If any have arrived at the sixth, let him in no wise be in doubt, for in nothing shall he suffer loss. If any be as late as the ninth, let him draw near, let him in no wise hesitate. If any arrive only at the eleventh, let him not be fearful on account of his slowness. For the Master is bountiful and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him of the eleventh hour even as to him who has laboured from the first. He is merciful to the last, and provides for the first. To one He gives, and to another He shows kindness. He receives the works, and welcomes the intention. He honours the act, and commends the purpose.
Enter ye all, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and let both the first and those who come after partake of the reward. Rich and poor, dance one with another. Ye who fast and ye who fast not, rejoice today. The table is full-laden: do ye all fare sumptuously. The calf is ample: let none go forth hungry. Let all partake of the banquet of faith. Let all partake of the riches of goodness. Let none lament his poverty; for the Kingdom is manifested for all. Let none bewail his transgressions; for pardon has dawned from the tomb. Let none fear death; for the death of the Saviour has set us free. He has quenched death, Who was subdued by it. He has despoiled Hades, Who descended into Hades. Hades was embittered when it tasted of His flesh, and Isaiah, anticipating this, cried out saying: Hades was embittered when it met Thee face to face below. It was embittered, for it was rendered void. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was despoiled. It was embittered, for it was fettered. It received a body, and it encountered God. It received earth, and came face to face with Heaven. It received that which it saw, and fell whence it saw not.
O Death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory? Christ is risen and thou art cast down. Christ is risen and the demons have fallen. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is made free. Christ is risen and there is none dead in the tomb. For Christ is raised from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. To Him be glory and dominion from all ages to all ages.