“We are going through an extremely difficult time in terms of safeguarding health and life, when many people are tried hard by the new epidemic which has extended globally. In this period we are in great need of prayer and brotherly support, in great need of getting closer to God and showing practical solidarity with other people,” transmits the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church in its encyclical for the first Sunday of the Nativity Fast.
The Synod members emphasize that fasting is first and foremost “preparation and purification of our souls and bodies, through the Holy Confession and the Holy Eucharist, but also through charitable deeds”.
“Therefore, we urge the clerics and laity of our Holy Church to collect foods, clothes and medicine through parishes, monasteries, deaneries and eparchial centres.”
“They will be distributed within the communities to those who suffer and need help: to large underprivileged families, to the elderly, to those who lack support from an extended family, especially in the rural areas,” the encyclical states.
The hierarchs thank the clerics and the faithful for the generosity shown last year.
“Trusting you will show this year the same Christian generosity and you will answer with the same love to our fatherly call for this holy work of good-doing and support, we thank you for your latest-year generosity and we remind you Lord Jesus Christ’s words: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’” (Matthew 5:7).
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Church also reminds the faithful that 2021 has been The Solemn Year of the pastoral care of Romanians outside Romania and The Commemorative Year of the reposed in the Lord; the liturgical and cultural value of cemeteries in the Romanian Patriarchate.
“This year we have been called to further deepen brotherly communion with the [historical communities of] Romanians from around Romania’s borders and with the Romanian diaspora. We especially thank the servants of the Romanian Orthodox Holy Altars from outside Romania for their activity and loyalty to the Romanian people, for keeping and promoting Orthodox Christian faith and Romanian spiritual and cultural values”.
“We also urge the Romanians from all over the world to honour the memory and the burial places of those departed to eternal life, since only prayer and gratitude are able to ensure a living relationship of the souls, a spiritual communion that is stronger than the physical death of the body.”