Keeping the feast

Daily Reading for May 2 • Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, 373

Let us keep the feast on the first day of the great week, as a symbol of the world to come, in which we here receive a pledge that we shall have everlasting life hereafter. Then, having passed hence, we shall keep a perfect feast with Christ, while we cry out and say, like the saints, ‘I will pass to the place of the wondrous tabernacle, to the house of God; with the voice of gladness and thanksgiving, the shouting of those who rejoice’ whence pain and sorrow and sighing have fled, and upon our heads gladness and joy shall have come to us! May we be judged worthy to be partakers in these things.

Let us remember the poor, and not forget kindness to strangers; above all, let us love God with all our soul, and might, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. So may we receive those things which the eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man, which God hath prepared for those that love Him, through his only Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ; through whom, to the Father alone by the Holy Spirit be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

From a festival letter of Athanasius, quoted in Liturgical Practice in the Fathers by Thomas K. Carroll and Thomas Halton (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1988).

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