Let creation rejoice and flower

THEN said he, “I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am.

“My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder.”

When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, “Death, where is thy sting?” And as he went down deeper, he said, “Grave, where is thy victory?”

So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

John Bunyan, “Pilgrim’s Progress”.

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An icon of the Resurrection (11th century) in the Monastery of St Luke, Greece

An icon of the Resurrection (11th century) in the Monastery of St Luke, Greece

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LET creation rejoice and flower like a lily; for, being God, Christ hath been raised from the dead. ‘Where now O death is thy sting?’ we cry. ‘Where, Hades, is thy victory?’ He  who lifted up our horn hath cast thee to the ground, for he is full of tender pity.

Most holy Theotokos, save us.

THOU bearest up him that beareth up all things; thou holdest in thy hands as an infant child him that delivereth us from out the hand of the enemy that warreth upon us, O immaculate Lady; and thou seest lifted up upon the Cross him that lifteth us up from the depths of wickedness.

Sunday Matins, Tone 6. Source.

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