In the free Serbian mountains of Southern Kučaj, far from all the false news and information which these days bombard most of humanity, far from anti-Christian bans and persecution of the church under the pretense of some orchestrated “pandemic,” our monastery and faithful rejoiced in the majestic celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.
Over the days leading up to the feast of feasts, we followed with compunctionate spirit Our Lord’s Passion and suffering on the Cross through the moving divine services which are sung during Passion Week, beginning with Christ’s entry into Jerusalem to His willing suffering for the human race. He died for every man who has been born, and will be born, and even for those who publicly, shamelessly, crucify Him again and again, as we can see today everywhere around us in society and by our godless authorities.
Inspired by the words of the holy services, which follow the entire course of Christ’s Passion and incomprehensible economy of our salvation, our hearts awaited the joyous Resurrection, Christ’s victory over death and every evil!
At midnight on Pascha, we greeted the Risen Christ with a procession and festive hymn “Christ is Risen!” which rang far through the mountains into the night. The fragrance of our finest incense rose to the starry skies; the night sparkled with our shining candles and rays of grace. Up until the very night of Pascha, the mountains’ beauty lay hidden beneath a winter blanket of naked grey, but with the dawn of the Resurrection, everything was transformed before our eyes into a green paradise. All of nature arose and blossomed to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ with us. Birds sang, warming the heart with joy and hope for eternal life, and the children visiting the monastery did not cease to ring the bells the entire day (as they are allowed to do only during Pascha), celebrating in their own way the victory of victories, the Resurrection of Christ.
During these beautiful days, several pious families with children, along with other believers, stayed at the monastery so they could celebrate Pascha in peace and quiet. It was lovely to spend time with God-fearing people who glorify God and long for the true life in Christ. Together we prepared everything necessary for the feastday and prayed together during the divine services. On all three days of Pascha the Holy Liturgy was served, then we spent the rest of the day visiting and encouraging each other, strengthening ourselves by singing pious songs while the children played on the mountain meadows. Fr. Stephan with the assistance of Hierodeacon Arsenije served the divine services of Pascha.
We believe and know that Christ is He who will defeat every earthly darkness and evil, no matter how powerful it may seem at the moment. We Christians know that we are in the army of the Eternal Victor, Who with His Resurrection has defeated hades and brought all the powers of darkness to be trampled under the feet of His Church Militant! Thus we always cry joyously,
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!