April 19, 2020

The Paschal Catechetical Discourse of Saint John Chrysostom

The Catechetical Discourse of Saint John Chrysostom

If anyone be devout and love God, let them enjoy this beautiful and bright celebration. If anyone be a prudent servant, let them rejoicing enter into the joy of their Lord. If any have fasted, let them now receive their denarius. If any have labored from the first hour, let them today receive their just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let them with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let them have no misgivings; because they shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let them draw near, doubting nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let them not fear their tardiness; for the Master is generous, accepting the last even as the first; He gives rest unto those who come at the eleventh hour, even as unto them who have labored from the first hour.

And He shows mercy upon the last, and heals the first; and to the one He gives, and upon the other He bestows gifts. And He both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. Ye rich and poor, dance together. Ye sober and ye heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both ye who have fasted and ye who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go away hungry.

Enjoy ye all the banquet of faith. Receive ye all the riches of goodness. Let no one bewail their poverty, for the common kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for their iniquities, for forgiveness has shown forth from the tomb. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hades, He made Hades captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hades, said he, was embittered, when it encountered You in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It received a body, and met God face to face. It received earth, and encountered Heaven. It received that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Apolytikion of Saint John Chrysostom 
Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Grace like a flame shining forth from thy mouth has illumined the universe, and disclosed to the world treasures of poverty and shown us the height of humility. And as by thine own words thou teachest us, Father John Chrysostom, so intercede with the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls.

Κατηχητικός Λόγος Αγίου Ιωάννου του Χρυσοστόμου

Εἶ τις εὐσεβὴς καὶ φιλόθεος ἀπολαυέτω τῆς καλῆς ταύτης καὶ λαμπρὰς πανηγύρεως. Εἶτις δοῦλος εὐγνώμων, εἰσελθέτω χαίρων εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ Κυρίου αὐτοῦ. Εἶτις ἔκαμε νηστεύων, ἀπολαυέτω νὺν τὸ δηνάριον. Εἶτις ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης ὥρας εἰργάσατο, δεχέσθω σήμερον τὸ δίκαιον ὄφλημα. Εἶτις μετὰ τὴν τρίτην ἦλθεν, εὐχαρίστως ἑορτασάτω. Εἶτις μετὰ τὴν ἕκτην ἔφθασε, μηδὲν ἀμφιβαλλέτω, καὶ γὰρ οὐδὲν ζημιοῦται. Εἶτις ὑστέρησεν εἰς τὴν ἐννάτην, προσελθέτω, μηδὲν ἐνδοιάζων. Εἶτις εἰς μόνην ἔφθασε τὴν ἑνδεκάτην, μὴ φοβηθῆ τὴν βραδύτητα, φιλότιμος γὰρ ὧν ὁ Δεσπότης, δέχεται τὸν ἔσχατον, καθάπερ καὶ τὸν πρῶτον. Ἀναπαύει τὸν τῆς ἑνδεκάτης, ὡς τὸν ἐργασάμενον ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης.

Καὶ τὸν ὕστερον ἐλεεῖ, καὶ τὸν πρῶτον θεραπεύει, κακείνω δίδωσι, καὶ τούτω χαρίζεται. Καὶ τὰ ἔργα δέχεται, καὶ τὴν γνώμην ἀσπάζεται. Καὶ τὴν πρᾶξιν τιμᾷ, καὶ τὴν πρόθεσιν ἐπαινεῖ, οὐκοῦν εἰσέλθετε πάντες εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν, καὶ πρῶτοι καὶ δεύτεροι τὸν μισθὸν ἀπολαύετε. Πλούσιοι καὶ πένητες μέτ' ἀλλήλων χορεύσατε. Ἐγκρατεῖς καὶ ῥάθυμοι τὴν ἡμέραν τιμήσατε. Νηστεύσαντες καὶ μὴ νηστεύσαντες, εὐφράνθητε σήμερον. Ἡ τράπεζα γέμει τρυφήσατε πάντες, ὁ μόσχος πολὺς μηδεῖς ἐξέλθη πεινῶν.

Πάντες ἀπολαύετε τοῦ συμποσίου τῆς πίστεως. Πάντες ἀπολαύσατε τοῦ πλούτου τῆς χρηστότητος. Μηδείς θρηνείτω πενίαν ἐφάνη γὰρ ἡ κοινὴ βασιλεία. Μηδεὶς ὀδυρέσθω πταίσματα, συγγνώμη γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ τάφου ἀνέτειλε. Μηδεὶς φοβείσθω θάνατον, ἠλευθέρωσε γὰρ ἡμᾶς τοῦ Σωτῆρος ὁ θάνατος. Ἔσβεσεν αὐτόν, ὑπ' αὐτοῦ κατεχόμενος. Ἐσκύλευσε τὸν Ἅδην, ὁ κατελθὼν εἰς τὸν Ἅδην. Ἐπίκρανεν αὐτόν, γευσάμενον τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, καὶ τοῦτο προλαβῶν Ἡσαϊας, ἐβόησεν, ὁ Ἅδης, φησίν, ἐπικράνθη συναντήσας σοὶ κάτω. Ἐπικράνθη, καὶ γὰρ κατηργήθη. Ἐπικράνθη, καὶ γὰρ ἐνεπαίχθη. Ἐπικράνθη, καὶ γὰρ ἐνεκρώθη. Ἐπικράνθη, καὶ γὰρ καθηρέθη. Ἐπικράνθη, καὶ γὰρ ἐδεσμεύθη. Ἔλαβε σῶμα, καὶ Θεῷ περιέτυχεν. Ἔλαβε γήν, καὶ συνήντησεν οὐρανῶ. Ἔλαβεν, ὅπερ ἔβλεπε, καὶ πέπτωκεν, ὅθεν οὐκ ἔβλεπε.

Ποῦ σου θάνατε τὸ κέντρον; ποῦ σου Ἅδη τὸ νῖκος; Ἀνέστη Χριστός, καὶ σὺ καταβέβλησαι. Ἀνέστη Χριστὸς καὶ πεπτώκασι δαίμονες. Ἀνέστη Χριστός, καὶ χαίρουσιν Ἄγγελοι. Ἀνέστη Χριστός, καὶ ζωὴ πολιτεύεται. Ἀνέστη Χριστός, καὶ νεκρὸς οὐδεὶς ἐπὶ μνήματος. Χριστὸς γὰρ ἐγερθείς ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀπαρχὴ τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἐγένετο. Αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, Ἀμήν.

Ἀπολυτίκιον τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰωάννου τοῦ Χρυσοστόμου 
Ἦχος πλ. δ'

Ἡ τοῦ στόματός σου καθάπερ πυρσὸς ἐκλάμψασα χάρις, τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐφώτισεν, ἀφιλαργυρίας τῶ κόσμω θησαυροὺς ἐναπέθετο, τὸ ὕψος ἡμῖν τῆς ταπεινοφροσύνης ὑπέδειξεν, Ἀλλὰ σοὶς λόγοις παιδεύων, Πάτερ Ἰωάννη Χρυσόστομε, πρέσβευε τῶ Λόγῳ Χριστῷ τῶ Θεῷ, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.