Sermon of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, On the New Year

It is customary, in congratulating people on the New Year, to wish them new happiness. In this simple human wish is an expression of hope that the coming year will certainly be better than the last, that in the future there will be more joy, peace, and happiness.

We will now perform a supplicatory service [moleben] before entering a new year of God’s goodness.

Crossing the symbolic line separating one year from another, from December 31 to January 1, people normally meet the New Year with joy and gladness. But on New Year’s Eve everyone also gives thought to time, to how one year gives way to another in our lives.

It is customary, in congratulating people on the New Year, to wish them new happiness. In this simple human wish is an expression of hope that the coming year will certainly be better than the last, that in the future there will be more joy, peace, and happiness. Into this wish is concentrated both our hope and an optimistic view of life characteristic of people, which is shaken only by the most difficult circumstances of life.

A Christian must also have an optimistic view of life. Christian optimism has a profound foundation: it is rooted in our faith, in our trust in God, Who is the very Lord of history. The basis of our optimism is hope in the goodness of God’s will. We do not blindly suggest that the next year will be better than the last, but rather we associate our hope for a better life with prayer. It is namely in prayer that we ask of the Lord help and blessings on our country, on our people, on our Church, on our relatives, and on those close to us. We believe that the Lord will hear our prayer and, in response to our sincere faith and in response to our ability to repent of our sins and restrain from that which does evil, will grant His mercy.

So today, turning to the Lord in prayer with the approach of the New Year, let us heartily ask Him that He incline His mercy to us, that He will hear our prayer, and that, completing the coming year, we may with thanksgiving tell God, as we commonly say, glorifying His holy name: Glory to Thee, O God, our Benefactor, until the ages of ages. Amen.

2010/2011

Translated from Russian.

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