It is with profound gladness that I greet my Eminent fellow archpastors, reverend fathers, monastics, parishioners, and worshippers of our churches, scattered throughout the world, on the feasts of the Nativity of Christ, the Theophany of the Lord, and the New Year! May the Lord send us all the joy of the arrival of the Son of God into this world. Both the undertaking of faith and faith’s fruits in our days should be the rejoicing we experience as we hear the heralding angels give glory and the triumph of the Incarnation of God the Word!
This past year was difficult and sorrowful for many of us, but it was also filled by various blessings and gifts, for which we must offer up our gratitude to our Benefactor. We have reached this joyous celebration because Divine Providence did not abandon us. If we have been able to carry forth the duties placed upon us to this point, it is only because the Lord Himself granted us health, strength, food, drink, and clothing, and poured upon us combined His help and the patience to endure our life’s path. Moreover also, how many grace-filled gifts have been given to us in the Sacraments of the Church, in fasting, in prayer, and in the mystical life of the Church!
Christmastide has always evoked in the believing heart love and gratitude. Let us ourselves offer up thankfulness to God during these days, let us bring Him and our neighbors our love and our Nativity gift to the church, in which we acquire wondrous, personal contact with Christ and salvific communion with Him. Let us open our hearts, dear fathers, brothers, and sisters, and receive the Son of God Who came to earth, worship Him together with the Wise Men, and rejoice in His love and mercy toward us. Amen.
With love in the Newborn Christ,
Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad
Nativity of Christ 2021/2022 A.D.