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Do not lament me, O Mother, seeing Me in the tomb,
the Son conceived in the womb without seed!
For I shall arise and be glorified with eternal glory as God.
I shall exalt all who magnify you in faith and love.
(Ninth Ode of the Holy Saturday Kanon)


To the Reverend Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the West

Dearly beloved:

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Imagine the Virgin Mary, witness to the crucifixion of her Son, His taking down from the cross and His burial in a new tomb. The grief must have been unimaginable. Each of us can feel the same grief, not only on that Blessed Sabbath with the solemn vision and veneration of His body on the winding sheet, but also when we look at the world in all of its convulsions.

But the “words” of Christ spoken to His mother in the beautiful Ninth Ode of the Holy Saturday Kanon quoted above shine with the promise of the Resurrection. Those words not only promise the reality of Resurrection, but also promise His glorification and the glorification of His believers. And that is what we celebrate on this most bright and festive Day of Days. The somber Lenten efforts have given way to a burst of new life, a resurrected life, where death no longer has dominion over His creatures — us! We have been given pardon if we but accept it. Creation has been renewed! Grief is no longer mingled with tears; it has all been wiped away by the Victory. May we all receive this most wonderful gift and take it to our hearts and our lives.

May the risen Son of God be ever present with each one of you, my beloved children of the West! May none of us lament for death has been vanquished! And I say to you all again:

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Yours in the risen Christ,

Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West

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