Patriarch Daniel:Communion in prayer, cooperation in good deeds can turn fear into courage and hope

Communion in prayer, kindness of the heart and cooperation in good deeds can work wonders, turning fear into courage and hope, Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church said as he delivered the New Year's blessing service, the Akathist of our Lord Jesus Christ, at the Patriarchal Cathedral. The leader of Romanian Orthodox Church called on people "to turn this time of trial into a time of blessing." "In the Orthodox Church, the holy services are moments of sanctification of time, as well as a source of joy and peace, of light and hope in our struggle with the hardships of life. This year, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Holy Feasts of the Nativity of our Lord, New Year and the Baptism of the Lord are celebrated in a more difficult atmosphere. (...) We are going through a period of greater sadness when many are afflicted by the fear caused by the current pandemic: fear of illness, fear of death, fear of change in social life. But communion in prayer, peace of mind, kindness of the heart, and cooperation in good deeds can work wonders, turning fear into courage and hope," the Patriarch said, and went on to remark that "the New Year we enter is a new gift of life we receive from God for our salvation, that is, for the cultivation of communion with Him through prayer and good deeds." "Therefore, now, at the turn of the year, we must think even more about how to spend the time of our life as a time blessed by God. As such, the Church urges us to look with confidence and hope, but also with responsibility, at every moment of life. In this sense, the teaching of St. John Chrysostom is 'Let not one day of our life pass without laying down a spiritual gain with either prayer, confession, good deeds or with some other spiritual deed'." The Orthodox Church - Patriarch Daniel underscored - "attaches particular importance to the acts we do during our lifetime, teaching that every word spoken or deed done will echo into eternity", and "any good deed during earthly life is a step for the spiritual growth of the faithful man in his relationship with God and his fellow men". "At the same time, the good deed done out of merciful and humble love carries in it the heavenly light of the divine grace that works in man and becomes a treasure of the human soul for eternity. We pray to the Most Merciful God to bless all the people and the Romanians in the country and from abroad in particular, giving them health and salvation, peace and joy, but also plenty of help to free ourselves from the current pandemic that affects the people's life and health! We wish you all long and blessed years!," concluded Patriarch Daniel. In order to comply with the movement restrictions in force during the state of alert, the service for the blessing of the New Year 2021 was held on Thursday, immediately after Vespers. "The 2011 ruling of the Holy Synod provides for the Akathist of our Lord Jesus Christ to be read at the turn of the year in remembrance of the moment when the Son of God, incarnate, received the name of Jesus. The meaning of the Hebrew name Yeshua is 'Saviour' and in the akathist it is pronounced about 200 times," the Patriarchate specified. The service celebrated on the night of the passing of the year also includes the prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian to the Savior, a prayer of thanksgiving, two prayers for entering the New Year - one from the Romanian and Slavonic liturgical tradition, and another from the Greek tradition. The Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and the Feast of Saint Basil the Great are celebrated on January 1. The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated 10 times a year: on January 1 and 5, March 20 and 27, April 3, 10, 17, 28 and 30, and on December 25. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Popescu, editor: Karina Olteanu; EN - editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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