Rejoice! A Paraphrase of St. John Chrysostom's Pascal Homily
Lovers of God, rejoice!
in this festival of radiance;
Christ is risen from the dead!
All you wise and grateful servants, rejoice!
Enter into the joy of the Lord.
You who have labored long in fasting,
come now, collect your reward.
You who have toiled from first hour,
come and receive your due.
You who have come after third hour,
with thanksgiving join the feast.
If you have come after sixth hour, have no doubt;
nothing is lost.
Any delayed until ninth hour,
fearlessly rush in.
Those of you just arriving at the eleventh,
don't worry that you are late;
you are right on time.
For our Lord is gracious,
receiving the last and the first.
To one he gives; to another he bestows.
Rest now, you who have come at the eleventh hour;
rest now, you who have come from the first.
To the last he gives great mercy;
to the first his tender care.
He accepts your work,
warmly welcoming your intentions.
He lavishes your acts with praise.
All of you enter, first and last,
come into the joy.
Rich and poor rejoice together!
The monk and the messy, celebrate the day!
You who have fasted, and you who ate your fill,
feast now! The table is heavy with food.
Devour the fatted calf.
No one goes hungry today.
Drink deeply of the cup of faith;
all of you drink up!
Let no one lament his poverty;
the kingdom universal is revealed.
Do not mourn if you have fallen,
even if you've fallen again and again.
Rejoice in mercy and pardon,
forgiveness has burst from the grave.
Let no one fear death;
the Savior's death has set us free.
He who has died annihilated death.
He was hell on hell, outraging it
when it tasted his sweet flesh.
It was as Isaiah said,
"You, O hell, have been troubled by encountering him below."
Hell was outraged because it was abolished!
He bound hell in chains.
It stole a body and stumbled upon God.
What it snatched from the earth was heaven.
Hell took what it could see, and was defeated by mystery.
O death, where is your sting?
Hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen; hell defeated!
Christ is risen, demons fallen!
Christ is risen, angels sing!
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen; the dead rise from their graves.
Not one dead remains.
Christ is risen; first fruit of those who sleep.
Christ is risen!
To him be glory, honor and power,
now and forever.