GREETINGS FOR THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST TO THE CLERGY, MONASTICS, AND LAITY OF THE DIOCESE OF SOUROZH AND THE PATRIARCHAL PARISHES OF THE USA &CANADA
Dear Fathers, brothers and sisters!
The time for spiritual celebration has approached - the Church invites us to enter the Holy Days, beginning with the feast of the Nativity of Christ and concluding with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. The sacred events of the Gospel narrative remembered by the Church unite us with a common joy of the coming into the world of Christ the Savior and a common hope for deliverance of mankind from sin and eternal death.
This past year has become for all of us a year of unexpected trials, including stressful concerns regarding the health of our relatives, friends and acquaintances, restrictions in the celebration of divine services, and the inability to share the joy of common prayer, and much, much more.
I sincerely thank the clergy and parishioners of the Diocese of Sourozh, the Patriarchal parishes in the USA, Canada and Mexico for their selfless fulfillment of their assigned obedience’s, for their responsible and careful approach to the observance of all the instructions prescribed by His Holiness, the Patriarch, and the demonstration of civic consciousness with the implementation of the decisions of the local authorities. This was an example of Christian love for one's neighbor. By deed and word, support was provided to those who required special attention and care.
I pray with you that the coming New Year will be marked by the long-awaited deliverance from the destructive epidemic and filled with peace and prosperity. I believe that the All-Merciful Lord, who has manifested His goodness to the human race many times and in many ways, will visit all those who have faith in Him and renew our spiritual and physical strength.
I wholeheartedly congratulate all of you, dear Fathers, brothers and sisters, with the birth of our Lord and Savior and prayerfully wish all of you good health and spiritual joy and call your attention to the words of the Apostle Paul: “Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times” (Rom. 12: 11-12).
I invoke the blessing of God on all of you.
With love in our newborn Christ,
Bishop of Sourozh
Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes
in the USA & Canada.