NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America in his Encyclical on the New Year emphasized in a hopeful way that “we know that the pandemic will come to an end, and that we shall return to our lives, but perhaps not exactly as they once were. May this re-entry into our lives be blessed.”
The Archbishop wrote the following:
“O All-Good Master, by Your ineffable longsuffering You have vouchsafed us to enter into the New Year, bless this entrance with Your Divine Grace. (Prayer of the Doxology for the First of the New Year).
We are greeting the New Year of the Grace of our Lord, even as we share the longsuffering of our Lord that has strained our hearts and souls in the year that is behind us. We salute the New Year with faith, with hope for a brighter tomorrow. We welcome the New Year with the same confidence which knows that each passing day now possesses just a shard, just a hint of more light, even though the days of January seem darker than ever. Likewise, we know that the pandemic will come to an end, and that we shall return to our lives, but perhaps not exactly as they once were. May this re-entry into our lives be blessed!
My dear Christians, the past year has prepared us for this New Year of 2021; that we might never again take our families and friends for granted, that we might think of the suffering of others above our own, that we might see in the midst of the obstacles to our way of worship, the light of Christ that lights our hearts, if we would but turn our attention there.
On this First Day of the New Year, eight days after the Nativity, we commemorate the Naming of the Lord, and Saint Basil the Great. The Lord was given the Name that is above every other name, Jesus, as was revealed by the Angel. This is the Name by which we have been appointed to be saved from sin, fear, and death. Saint Basil the Great reminds us that it is through manifest love for our fellow human beings and compassion for the suffering of others that our faith works unto this salvation in our hearts, and awareness in our minds. Thus, the Holy Archdiocese continues this saving work institutionally at the Saint Basil Academy, where love and compassion are extended to those in need.
As we enter this New Year of the Grace of our Lord, may we truly be blessed by His love that we may be a blessing to others, and thus may we all be granted a healthy, safe and fulfilling New Year of 2021.”