Go ye forth, His Saints, to meet Him!
Go with lamps in every hand!
From the sepulchre He riseth:
Ready for the Bridegroom stand:
And the Pascha of salvation
Hail, with His triumphant band.
From Ode V of the Golden Canon of St. John Demascene
Against the dull calumnies of the modern scholar, his mind woven about with clichés as it were with the chains of Mephistopheles; against the hoary heresies, which even in their dotage blow vainly upon their trumpets in an endlessly repeated refrain; against the tumults of Men, and the proud legions of Revolution in their mighty thousands; against all these stands the central Fact of the Christian religion: the empty tomb.
The fountain of what the Christian man calls joy is this single instant in the river of time. On this bitter point is balanced the whole hope of his civilization. What the Christian man calls his faith rests on the real intersection of myth and history, and that is why he is both more mythological and more philosophical in his orientation than either the pagan seer or the Marxian historian. His form of worship was a liberation, justified by his knowledge of this singular Fact, which even in the glory of the rites is recounted through the most un-poetical recitation of historical witness.
Thus the empty tomb is not only a Fact of history, but a mythical Sign of the door left open to us which, if we but follow Christ, will lead us out from this present darkness to light and life eternal. Not since the flight of the Israelites from Egypt was so great a hope given such sweet and simple sustenance.
May that hope light you home and give you joy during this time of triumph and of exaltation. A Happy Easter season to all!