The Easter Message of Bishop Mykola

March 25, 2024

In his message to the clergy and faithful on the occasion of the Resurrection of Christ, Bishop Mykola draws special attention to the meaning and value of Sunday for every Christian and calls on us to “restore the lost understanding that Sunday is the day when we remember Christ’s glorious Resurrection.”

The Easter Message of Bishop Mykola


“This is that chosen and holy day, feast of the feasts,
most solemn day, only king and lord of all Sabbaths,
on which we ever praise Christ”
(Paschal Matins, Ode 8)

Christ is Risen!

Beloved in Christ!

The biggest feast of the church year is the day of Christ’s Resurrection. The day we were looking forward to and prepared for during Great Lent. Easter Sunday is a great gift to feel joy and witness this special feast. The psalmist urges us to experience this day, saying: “This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118, 24).

From the beginning of Christianity, the day of Easter was called “the Lord’s Day”. On this Day, Christians gathered as a community to pray and glorify the Risen Christ. The celebration of Resurrection is not only easter bread and time spent with the family. This is first and foremost a celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and death, victory over the “old creation” and transfiguration in Christ into a “…new creation…” (2 Cor. 5, 17).

Every Sunday reminds us of the day of Christ’s Resurrection. In today’s world, Christians experience serious challenges regarding the observance of Sunday, as Sunday is considered nothing more than a break between working hours. In 1998, Saint Pope John Paul II issued the Apostolic Letter — “Dies Domini” (“the Lord’s Day”), in which he wrote: “Sunday loses its original meaning and becomes only the end of the week; a person’s horizon narrows so much that he stops seeing the sky. Sunday is taking on the habit of a ‘weekend’, a weekly rest, often somewhere away from home, which often includes participation in cultural, political, or sports events that usually take place on days off from work.”

Sunday is often, even among Christians, interpreted as the last day of the week, when you can “sleep in” before the start of the working week, a free day, when one completes household chores for which there was not enough time during the week i.e. mow the lawn, prepare school assignments, clean the house, and so on. Sunday ceased to be “the Lord’s Day” and became commonplace that has nothing to do with our spiritual life in the Church. This distorts the true understanding of Sunday as a special “…first day of the week…” (Acts 20, 7). On this day, the first Christian communities gathered for the common prayer of “…breaking of bread…” (Acts 2, 42), which today we call the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. Sunday for Christians was the building of Christ’s Church.

As Christians of the third millennium, we need to remember the importance and the value of Sunday in our spiritual life. We have a duty to restore the lost understanding that Sunday is the day when we remember Christ’s glorious Resurrection. This is the day when “… Christians openly profess our faith, acknowledge ourselves to be a new creation in Christ and members of His Body, the Church” (Catechism of the UGCC “Christ — Our Pascha”, para. 839). On this day, through Sunday’s Divine Liturgy, which is the pinnacle of prayer and the centre of our spiritual life, we restore a close connection with the Risen Christ. Because this is a “holy day,” as Metropolitan Andrey taught, “it must be entirely dedicated to the Lord God” (Pastoral letter of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky to the faithful about repentance, 16 February 1901).

Let us unite in prayer with the Ukrainian people, who have been defending their independence from the moskow occupier in a difficult and unequal struggle for the last ten years. Let us unite in the strong belief that the resistance of the Ukrainian people to the terrible atrocities of russia through a full-scale war will end in our victory. Let us unite in celebrating the Resurrection, as the victory of Christ over death, having hope and asking the Lord for a just peace. Let’s pray and not lose heart!

I sincerely greet the clergy, religious and all the faithful with the great feast of the Resurrection of Christ. I wish you a blessed Easter feast, living faith in following Jesus, strong hope for a better future, and ardent love, the source of which is our Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

The blessing of the Lord be upon you!

Eparch of Melbourne

Given in Melbourne,
at our Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul,
on the 25th day of March, in the Year of Our Lord 2024,
The Feast of the Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God

See also