A Pascha of Incorruption

1_I urge readers to follow the link to the website Ora et Labora and read the newly translated article: A Pascha of Incorruption, written by the New Hieromartyr Hilarion (+1929). It is an exquisite commentary on the Orthodox teaching of Pascha, but also demonstrates how the theology of the Church survived and prevailed through its liturgical life and prayers, despite official efforts (in Russia in the 19th century in this case) to put Western models into place in our seminaries. It was a sad chapter in Orthodox history. But the repudiation of those efforts (which has occupied much of the 20th century) is living proof of the rule: Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.


  1. Thank you for this kind comment and link. I hope to translate more by this great saint and theologian, whose works have recently been published in three large volumes in Russian, in the near future.

  2. Christ is Risen! Thank you for directing us to this post, Fr. Stephen. The subject matter is something that I have been contemplating also these days, along with the contents of your other posts. There is so much to learn, for Orthodox teachings is very rich indeed! For us, new converts, the task of knowing and conforming our hearts and minds to the teachings is a task in itself, may God give us His grace and his Mercy, that we may not be blinded by the strength of His Truth, but may we be guided by the Holy Spirit so that we may be able to receive the fullness of the Truth.

  3. Felix Culpa,

    Christ is risen! What a rich Pascha gift to offer to the English speaking Orthodox! I was blessed this morning when I read your translation and deeply struck by the words of the saint. It’s reflection of the theological liveliness that was taking place within the Russian Church early in the 20th century, and its continued flowering across the world in the work of exiles, is a testament to the importance of the work that filled 20th century Orthodoxy. As the inheritors of so much grace-filled laborers, I hope we can faithfully live the gift they have given us and give it intact to those who come after us. Many blessings on your good work! Pray for me.

  4. Thanks for posting this, Fr. Stephen! Very helpful to my still-struggling western mind…

  5. XB
    “Blessedness is not an external reward, as unfortunate mercenary Catholics philosophize. Blessedness is the inner consequence of the virtues. Virtue is the health of the soul, and a healthy man is always happier than a sick one.”
    This to me is the defining passage in Hilarion’s essay: the point you do not arrive at ascending on the strength your own intellectual efforts, but only getting there by way of the theology of the Church; not as mediated through the seminary theologians’ systems, but only via the Paschal liturgy and hymns. But once arrived at, this point is consonant with so much else of Scripture and Tradition: “Blessed is the man …” etc., that it becomes much clearer. Thank you for posting this essay, Fr. Stephen, and thank you for the translation, Felix.

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