Apolytikion for Sunday of Thomas
Ἐσφραγισμένου τοῦ μνήματος..
Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.
Apolytikion of Pascha
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted live.
Ει καί εν τάφω…
Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades’ power, and rose the victor, Christ God. To the myrrh-bearing women, saying “Hail!” and granting peace to Your disciples, You are He Who raises up the fallen.
SUNDAY OF THOMAS
Though the doors were shut at the dwelling where the disciples were gathered for fear of the Jews on the evening of the Sunday after the Passover, our Savior wondrously entered and stood in their midst, and greeted them with His customary words, “Peace be unto you.” Then He showed unto them His hands and feet and side; furthermore, in their presence, He took some fish and a honeycomb and ate before them, and thus assured them of His bodily Resurrection. But Thomas, who was not then present with the others, did not believe their testimony concerning Christ’s Resurrection, but said in a decisive manner, “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Wherefore after eight days, that is, on this day, when the disciples were again gathered together and Thomas was with them, the Lord Jesus came while the doors were shut, as He did formerly. Standing in their midst, He said, “Peace be unto you”; then He said to Thomas, “Bring hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not unbelieving, but believing.”
And Thomas, beholding and examining carefully the hands and side of the Master, cried out with faith, “My Lord and my God.” Thus he clearly proclaimed the two natures – human and divine – of the God-man (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-29).
This day is called Antipascha (meaning “in the stead of Pascha,” not “in opposition to Pascha”) because with this day, the first Sunday after Pascha, the Church consecrates every Sunday of the year to the commemoration of Pascha, that is, the Resurrection.
RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
For great is the dignity of the priests. “Whosesoever sins,’ it says, ‘you remit, they are remitted unto them’…And hold them very exceedingly in honor…The priest, even if he rightly orders his own life, if he does not have an anxious care for yours, yes and that of all those around him, will depart with the wicked into hell: and often when not betrayed by his own conduct, he perished by yours, if he has not rightly performed his part…For they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account’ (Heb.13:17)… For this is the Faith, to receive things not seen, since ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen’ (Heb.11:1)
Great is our Lord, and great is his power, Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.
Acts of the Apostles 5:12-20
IN THOSE DAYS, many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them: “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.” Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to Him: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.