Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad
NEW YORK: Nativity of Christ 2021/2022
With deep joy I greet the Most Reverend brethren-archpastors, most honorable fathers, monastics, parishioners and faithful of our churches scattered throughout the whole world with the Feasts of the Nativity of Christ, the Baptist of the Lord, and the New Year! May the Lord send us all joy in the coming of the Son of God into the world. The ascetic struggle of faith and its fruit in our days must also bring forth in us joy from the hearing of the angelic doxology and from the triumph of the Incarnation of the Word of God.
The passing year was for many of us a heavy and grief-filled one, but it also contained diverse blessings and gifts, for which it behooves us to lift up gratitude to our Benefactor. We have reached this festal time because the Providence of God has not abandoned us. If we have succeeded until now to carry the responsibilities laid upon us, this is only because the Lord Himself gave us health, strength, food, drink, clothing — and together with these, has poured out upon us His help and patience for the journey through the path of our life. But even beyond this, how much is imparted to us by the grace-filled Gifts of the Mysteries of the Church, in fasting and prayer, and in the mystical life of the Church!
These holy days always arouse in a faithful heart feelings of love and gratitude. Let us also in these days lift up our thankfulness to God, let us bring our love to Him and our neighbors, and bring our Christmas gift to the temple, in which we are granted a wonderful, personal meeting with Christ and salvific communion with Him. Let us open our hearts, dear fathers, brothers, and sisters; let us receive the Son of God who has come into the world, let us worship Him with the wise men and rejoice in His love and mercy toward us.
+Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad