Your Graces, brother-archpastors, reverend fathers, beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord!
GREETINGS ON THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST!
By God’s ineffable goodness, we enter once more into the joyous days of the great feasts of Christ’s Nativity and Theophany. I sincerely greet you all with this world-saving joy! The feat of faith and its fruit in life must be this joy: from the triumph of the Theophany - God’s manifestation and incarnation - and the sound of the Heavenly doxology and otherworldly peace being sung over Bethlehem.
Everything that transpired in that simple cave in Bethlehem and in the holy River Jordan, both especially revered by the entire Christian world, bore the deep hallmarks of modesty and humility. In His Nativity, the Creator of the universe, Who holds all things in His right hand,...
by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monastics
and All the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church
Beloved in the Lord archpastors, all-honourable presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters,
From the depths of my heart I congratulate you all on the radiant feast of the Nativity of Christ.
Today the Church in heaven and on earth is triumphant as she rejoices at the coming into the world of our Lord and Saviour and lifts up praises and thanksgiving to God for His mercy and love for the human race. It is with spiritual trembling that we listen to the words of the hymn: “Christ is born; glorify Him! Christ comes from heaven; go out to meet Him” (Hirmos for the Canon of the Nativity of Christ). With reverence and hope we set our gaze upon the cave of Bethlehem where the Divine Infant lies wrapped in swaddling clothes in a lowly manger.
Your Graces Brother-Archpastors, Honorable Fathers,
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord!
I sincerely greet you with the 725th Anniversary of the appearance of the miraculous Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God of the “Sign,” and with the Centennial of the founding of the Higher Church Administration Abroad, which later was transformed into the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad. We are not marking the events that destroyed all the foundations of Pre-Revolutionary Russia, and which hit extremely hard on our dear Mother – the Local Russian Orthodox Church – having pushed Her, together with the whole country, onto a path of great suffering, repression, martyrdom and confession. Rather, we raise up gratitude to God, Who has preserved us under the shelter of our precious Orthodox Faith, in the traditions of the glorious Russian Church. We bow down before the memory of those ascetics,...