Holy Pascha

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Holy Pascha

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Join us for the feast of feasts—the centrepiece of the Christian faith—the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Join us as we remember the day the world’s eternal destiny changed!

Whether you’re Orthodox or not; whether you've been to church frequently, rarely or never: it’s most worth your while coming to experience the joyful celebration of Christ’s victory over sin, sickness, death and Hades; and the eternal restoration of humanity with the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

Everyone is most welcome to join the congregation of The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church for the online Paschal Service.


Great and Holy Pascha — Saturday 9:00 pm

Join us on the eve of Great and Holy Pascha. This is the night we experience the culmination our journey to joy. The Orthodox celebration of Easter is a night of great and holy mystery and an outpouring of communal rejoicing.

Clergy gather around Christ’s bier at the beginning of the Paschal Service

Holy Week comes to an end at sunset of Great and Holy Saturday, as the Church prepares to celebrate her most ancient and preeminent festival, Pascha, the feast of feasts.

The time of preparation gives way to a time of fulfilment. The glorious and resplendent light emanating from the empty Tomb will dispel the darkness.

Christ, risen from the dead, cracks the fortress of death and takes “captivity captive” (Psalm 67:19, OSB). All the limitations of our createdness are torn asunder. Death is swallowed up in victory and life is liberated. “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (I Corinthians 15: 21-22. OSB). Pascha is the dawn of the new and unending day. The Resurrection constitutes the most radical and decisive deliverance of humankind.

The Choir of The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church at Pascha

The celebration of Pascha in the Orthodox Church is more than a mere historical re-enactment of the event of Christ’s Resurrection.

Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy are celebrated together in the first dark hours of the first day of the week.

They allow us all to experience the ‘new creation’ of the world.

The mystical service allows us to enter into the New Jerusalem that shines eternally with the glorious light of Christ, overcoming the perpetual night of evil, and destroying the darkness of this mortal and sinful world. 

The angel cried to the Lady full of grace: Rejoice, O pure Virgin! Again I say: Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead! Rejoice, all you people! Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem The glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exalt now and be glad, O Zion! Be Radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

— Hymn to the Theotokos, Service for Holy Pascha

Order of Service

The service held this evening is actually two services: Matins and the Paschal Divine Liturgy.

Matins includes the Trisagion prayers, Psalms, the Canon of Great and Holy Friday and Pascha, litanies, the receiving of the Light, the Gospel reading and the Resurrection Homily of St. John Chrysostom. 

Congregation re-enters the brightly lit Church on Pascha

The receiving of the Light replicates the Holy Fire which emanates from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem each year. In our case, the candle of the priest is carried into the dark nave of the chapel and spreads from candle to candle until the chapel is gloriously lit.

From here everyone proceeds out of the chapel and walks around the exterior of the Religious Centre. To re-enter the building the priest engages in dialogue with 'the doorkeeper' who repeats: Who is the King of Glory? Everyone re-enters a lighted chapel and the service continues.

In St. John Chrysostom’s short homily, read every Pascha, the words of the former Archbishop of Constantinople (elected in 347) sum up the essential hope we find in Jesus Christ our Lord:

O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished… Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep.

—Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom

Then the Paschal Divine Liturgy commences. As the priest concludes the censing of the altar his words encapsulate the feeling of all those present: 

This is the Day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the priest blesses the red eggs and proclaims Christ is Risen! The congregation responds:

Truly He is risen.

The exchange continues:

Priest:        Glory to This holy, third-day resurrection.

People:      We affirm His third-day resurrection.

Priest:        Christ is Risen from the dead, by death He has trampled upon death.

Priest:        And on those in the tombs…

People:    … He is bestowing life! Amen.

Orthodox Christians capture the fervent joy of Pascha and carry it with them through the forty-day period from Pascha to Ascension by greeting each other with the words:

Community celebration following Christ’s Resurrection

Greeting:        Christ is Risen!

Response:      Truly He is Risen!

The Greeting is spoken in every language under the sun.


Announcing Christ’s Resurrection throughout the world

Orthodox Christians announce Christ’s resurrection in all the languages of the world. Here’s a small sample of them.

Aleut: Khristus anahgrecum!Alhecum anahgrecum!

Aleut: Khris-tusax agla-gikux!Agangu-lakan agla-gikux!

Albanian: Krishti U Ngjall!Vertet U Ngjall!

Alutuq: Khris-tusaq ung-uixtuq! Pijii-nuq ung-uixtuq!

Amharic: Kristos tenestwalBergit tenestwal!

Anglo-Saxon: Crist aras!Crist sodhlice aras!

Arabic: El Messieh kahm!Hakken kahm!

Armenian: Kristos haryav ee merelotz!Orhnial eh harootyunuh kristosee!

Athabascan: Xristosi banuytashtch'ey!Gheli banuytashtch'ey!

Bulgarian: Hristos voskrese!Vo istina voskrese!

Byelorussian: Khrystos uvaskros!Saprawdy uvaskros!

Chinese: Helisituosi fuhuole!Queshi fuhuole!

Coptic: Pchristos aftooun!Alethos aftooun!

Czech: Kristus vstal a mrtvych!Opravdi vstoupil!

Danish: Kristus er opstanden!Ja, sandelig opstanden!

Dutch: Christus is opgestaan!Ja, hij is waarlijk opgestaan!

Eritrean-Tigre: Christos tensiou!Bahake tensiou!

Esperanto: Kristo levigis!Vere levigis!

Estonian: Kristus on oolestoosunt!Toayestee on oolestoosunt!

Ethiopian: Christos t'ensah em' muhtan!Exai' ab-her eokala!

Finnish: Kristus nousi kuolleista!Totisesti nousi!

French: Le Christ est réssuscité!En verite il est réssuscité!

Gaelic: Taw creest ereen!Taw shay ereen guhdyne!

Georgian: Kriste aghsdga!Cheshmaritad aghsdga!

German: Krist ist auferstanden!Wahrlich Er ist auferstanden!

Greek: Christos anesti!Alithos anesti!

Hawaiian: Ua ala hou 'o Kristo!Ua ala 'I 'o no 'oia!

Hebrew: Ha Masheeha houh quam!Be emet quam!

Hungarian: Krisztus feltamadt!Valoban feltamadt!

Ibo ( Nigeria): Jesu Kristi ebiliwo!Ezia o' biliwo!

Indian (Malayalam): Christu uyirthezhunnettu!Theerchayayum uyirthezhunnettu!

Indonesian: Kristus telah bangkit!Benar dia telah bangkit!

Italian: Cristo e' risorto!Veramente e' risorto!

Japanese: Harisutos Fukkatsu!Jitsu ni Fukkatsu!

Javanese: Kristus sampun wungu!Tuhu sampun wungu!

Korean: Kristo gesso!Buhar ha sho nay!

Latin: Christus resurrexit!Vere resurrexit!

Latvian: Kristus ir augsham sales!Teyasham ir augsham sales vinsch!

Lugandan: Kristo ajukkide!Amajim ajukkide!

Norwegian: Christus er oppstanden!Sandelig han er oppstanden!

Polish: Khristus zmartwyckwstal!Zaprawde zmartwyckwstal!

Portuguese: Cristo ressuscitou!Em verdade ressuscitou!

Romanian: Hristos a inviat!Adevărat a înviat!

Russian: Khristos voskrese!Voistinu voskrese!

Sanskrit: Kristo'pastitaha!Satvam upastitaha!

Serbian: Cristos vaskres!Vaistinu vaskres!

Slovak: Kristus vstal zmr'tvych!Skutoc ne vstal!

Spanish: Cristo ha resucitado! En verdad ha resucitado!

Swahili: Kristo amefufukka! Kweli amefufukka!

Swedish: Christus ar upstanden!Han ar verkligen upstanden!

Syriac: M'shee ho dkom!Ha koo qam!

Tlingit: Xristos Kuxwoo-digoot!Xegaa-kux Kuxwoo-digoot!

Turkish: Hristos diril - di! Hakikaten diril - di!

Ugandan: Kristo ajukkide!Kweli ajukkide!

Ukrainian: Khristos voskres!Voistinu voskres!

Welsh: Atgyfododd Crist!Atgyfododd yn wir!

Yupik: Xris-tusaq Ung-uixtuq!Iluumun Ung-uixtuq!

Zulu: Ukristu uvukile!Uvukile kuphela!


You are invited

You are warmly invited to join with the congregation of The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church as we complete our journey to joy. On this night of nights, we all leave with the peace and assurance of new life in the Risen Christ, to the glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The church service will finish at approximately 1:00 am. Stay afterwards to share in the community feast!



The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church, located in Clayton, Melbourne, is a living witness to the power of the Gospel and the fullness of the Christian Faith in modern, secular Australia.

We are a vibrant Australian Christian community under the direction of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand & the Philippines, within the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

The Church of Antioch is the continuation of the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter (who served as its first bishop) and Paul. The Patriarchate of Antioch is the oldest of the ancient Patriarchates constituting the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.

All services are in the English language and are held in the Main Chapel of the Religious Centre at Monash University, Clayton Campus, conveniently located in the centre of Melbourne’s residential population.

Many of our services are live-streamed online.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Service books are available or you can access the full service on your phone or tablet device using our Khouria app. To access the Khouria app:

Link to the words and music for today's service

Username: choir
Password: choir

If the link does not work, follow the instructions here.

Parking in the University car parks is free after 7:00 pm, but please take note of all signs regarding Loading Zones, No Standing and Disabled Parking, these restrictions apply and are enforced.

For directions to the Religious Centre click here