An excerpt from the Paschal Homily of St John Chrysostom. Fascinating to see how Christians were celebrating Christ’s resurrection merely 300 years after the event.
Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!
You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden: feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted: let no-one go forth hungry!
Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness. Let no-one lament their poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no-one mourn their transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave. Let no-one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free.
He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into Hades and took Hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh!
It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
It took a body, and came upon God! It took earth, and encountered Heaven! It took what it saw, but crumbled before what it had not seen!
O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!