Frank Tracy Griswold III

The 25th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

An Easter Reflection

April 15, 2003
Frank T. Griswold

April 15, 2003

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and giving life to those in the tomb.

This Easter anthem, drawn from the liturgy of the Eastern Church, appears in our Prayer Book at the conclusion of the Burial of the Dead. It is to be sung as the body is borne from the church.

Through the resurrection, Christ not only rises from the dead but destroys death – death in all its forms. And as members of Christ’s risen body we are called to trample down death.

What does it mean to trample down death? It means to confront all that is death-dealing: greed, disease, poverty, hunger, violence, war, oppression, neglect of the needy and vulnerable, pollution of our planet, disregard for the dignity of all people, and – yes – legalized executions carried out for the presumed good of society. All of these are within our human power to overcome. We in virtue of the power of Christ’s Spirit at work within us are able to be instruments of his death-destroying love. With this in mind we keep the Easter feast.

During these anxious days may we who have been baptized into Christ renew our solidarity with the Risen One, and trample down death with a battle cry of alleluia on our lips.

The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church