Romanian Orthodox Basilica Press Center – June 2016
Thursday, 9 June 2016, the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates the Ascension of the Lord. His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral. His Grace Macarie, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Northern Europe concelebrated.
The Patriarch of Romania delivered a sermon in which he spoke about the significance of the Bible text read today. His Beatitude underlined the fact that Saint Luke the Evangelist presents the most detailed Ascension of the Lord into Heaven. The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also emphasised the three great truths included in the Gospel text scheduled to be read today.
The Gospel shows us three great truths. First, it is the relationship between the Mystery of the Cross and the joy of the Resurrection of the Lord and between the Ascension to Heaven and the Descent of the Holy Spirit into the world. The same Gospel text shows us the meaning of the sufferance of Christ on the Cross, of His Resurrection and of His Ascension into Heaven in order to send the Holy Spirit together with the Father, namely to preach the repentance for forgiving the sins, from Jerusalem to all nations. The Gospel also shows us that the Church of Christ lives from the blessing of Christ, because when He ascended into Heaven He also blessed His disciples. His blessing includes His peace and joy shared to His Church when He comes in glory for the second time to judge the living and the dead and whose Kingdom will have no end, as we confess in the Creed, the Patriarch of Romania said.
The Ascension of the Lord is a call to the ascension of man to eternal life, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel also underlined.
The Ascension of the Lord into Heaven means the ascension of man in the light, holiness and eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity as a result of the work of the Incarnation, Sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the world. We better understand why there is not only a mysterious relationship between the cross of sufferance and joy of the Resurrection of Christ, but also a mysterious relationship between the Ascension of Christ to Heaven and the Descent of the Holy Spirit to ascend us, the humans, to eternal life, for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the joy of those who believe in Christ and fulfil His will in their life.
The heroes of the Romanian nation have been remembered today in all the cathedrals, churches, monasteries, road side shrines and monuments from the country and abroad.
Our Church also celebrates the heroes from all times and places because the same as Christ ascended to Heaven in glory only after He passed through the sacrifice of the Cross, so do we honour these people who sacrificed themselves out of love and strong faith and showed that love is stronger than death. This is why we do honour the heroes of the nation the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church said.
After the Divine Liturgy a solemn service was celebrated and bells were rung as sign of gratitude for the heroes who sacrificed themselves for nation, faith and country.
In the end, the Patriarch of Romania offered the faithful icons of the feast of the Ascension of the Lord.