Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Let Us Worship Him with the Wise Men

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.

Amen.

+Hilar­i­on,
Met­ro­pol­i­tan of East­ern Amer­i­ca and New York
First Hier­ar­ch of the Russ­ian Church Abroad