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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

The Easter Symphony

The Easter Symphony

The Gospels can be compared to a symphony, both in structure and in their power of eloquence.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the classical symphony as: “an elaborate musical composition for full orchestra, typically in four movements, at least one of which is traditionally in sonata form.”

In a symphony, there is always a main theme supported by underlying themes that introduce and prepare its execution, when the symphony bursts forth and reaches its apogee. It is then that the main theme and sub-themes unite with each other in an extraordinary explosion of sounds and emotions. Then all is said, and the audience bursts into bravo and applause.

In this regard, the four Gospels are like the four parts of a symphony, while every gospel is a unique sonata in itself. In the Gospels, we move from one movement to another, while Jesus gradually reveals himself until the final fulfillment of his mission. It is in this dynamic that Great Lent brings us in.

Indeed, the evangelical narratives in the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of the Divine Liturgy) from Sunday to Sunday, has been like the echo of a symphony. Let us call it the “Easter Symphony,” in which the sub-themes from the parables and the miracles of our Lord, prepared us for the Holy Week’s symphonic movement, which opens with the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus.

The resurrection of Lazarus is undoubtedly the most striking miracle of Jesus. In this movement, one can clearly hear the theme underlying the whole Gospel, even if it is not yet played to its full force, in its total unfolding. It is preparing the finale of the Easter Symphony, the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter morning and which is in fact a true “Ode to Joy.”

On Easter, the joy springs forth, unexpected like the empty tomb, like the voice of the angel clothed in white, who assures the women who came early in the morning to the tomb: “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6)

It seems that the joy is contained, but the horizon is no longer limited to the grave and the cemetery, it opens to Galilee and to the whole world: "Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” (Matthew 28:7) The stifling atmosphere, paralyzing pain and bitter regrets are over. Here is the invitation to go forward, to spread the good news and to meet the Risen One.

Joy dissipates the darkness and opens the doors of hope. It puts our hearts into celebration. It makes us lighter, gives us wings. We cannot keep it only for ourselves. This is the meaning of the Avedis (Good News), an invitation we make to one another to praise the Lord, to share the Good News and to enter into the dance of the saved people.

The joy of Easter is the joy of life stronger than death, the joy of love and mercy more powerful than violence and hatred. It founds our hope and empowers us to be bold and take risks. It assures us to count on love above all, even if our time remains a time of hatred, injustice and war. And that joy, "no one can take it away" (John 16,22), nothing, not even the apparent triumph of evil, the sad or even tragic news that break our hearts. “Death has been swallowed up in victory,” assures St. Paul and proclaims quoting the Prophet: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Cor 15,55 cf. Hosea 13:14).

The glorious Resurrection confirms that Jesus Christ is truly the Light of the world, that He is the Eternal Life. And this is the central theme of our Easter Symphony, which we hear from Sunday to Sunday, throughout Lent, and which unfolds and solemnly resounds on Easter morning in a formidable Allegro Vivace!

Lastly, the Church is the symphony orchestra and we, the faithful, are those virtuosi who play the Easter Symphony to our Century. Just as each instrument of the orchestra has its own voice but plays in harmony with the whole, so we all need each other, because no one group alone incarnates the full meaning of the composition. We also must be faithful, neither adding nor deleting any part of the entire musical score written and conducted by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, let us together and faithfully share this joyful Easter Symphony around us by the testimony of our faith and above all by the commitment of our life.

All assembled in the concert hall have come to enjoy and to be transformed by the music, beautiful and ennobling.

Քրիստոս յարեա՛ւ ի մեռելոց։ Օրհնեա՛լ է Յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի։

Krisdos haryav ee merelotz! - Orhnyal eh harootiunun Krisdosee!

Christ is risen from the dead! - Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

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