His Eminence LAZAR, Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea, to the archpastors, pastors, monastics and all faithful children of the Diocese of Simferopol and Crimea
« Angels sing, archangels sing, cherubs cry out, seraphim praise — everyone triumphs, seeing God on earth and man in heaven «
(Word for the Nativity of St. John Chrysostom)
Beloved shepherds in the Lord, honest monks and nuns, God-loving laity, dear brothers and sisters!
Sharing now with each of you the joy of the great holiday, with all my heart and with all my soul I congratulate you on the wondrous triumph of Heaven and Earth — Merry Christmas in the flesh of the Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ!
Now our hearts are filled with bright and solemn joy about the Savior born into the world. Today, all of us, following the guiding star of Bethlehem, which once led the astonished magi to the manger of the Divine Infant Christ, are in a hurry to bow to the Incarnate Savior of the world and give Him glory together with the shepherds. We rejoice together with the Angels, because what was said by the prophets came true: “Behold, the Virgin in the womb will receive and give birth to a Son and will call His name Immanuel, which means: God is with us” (Matt. 1, 17).
Christ is born — and over the world, as St. Ambrose of Milan tells us about this, «the New Sun rises, which by the Holy Spirit revives the lifeless, renews the damaged, resurrects the dead.»
The Nativity of the Son of God made possible the knowledge of God in its entirety: “No one has ever seen God; The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed” (Jn 1, ). Once, speaking through His prophets, the Lord appears in the flesh to the world, so that He Himself, with His mouth, proclaims the truth, Himself preach the Good News, pointing to the path of salvation, revealing the will of God.
The beam of the Star of Bethlehem was the forerunner of the unfading light of the Sun of Truth, which illuminated the whole world with Itself. And we contemplate this light, sown in our hearts from the baptismal font. We, clothed in Christ, rejoice today and triumph, because with His light “enlightens every person who comes into the world” (John 1:9).
Truly universal joy fills our souls; Heaven rejoices, earth rejoices. The hearts of Christians rejoice, mentally contemplating the birth of the Lord, who assumed human nature, in order to regenerate us all, save us and, according to the word of the Apostle Paul, dwell in our hearts (Eph. 3, 17) to give us immortality and endless joy.
Let us combine our efforts and lift up our prayers so that the joy of the Nativity of Christ enters every home, touches every family, warms the hearts and souls of all people!
Your Eminences! Dear fathers, brothers and sisters! With gratitude to God, we say goodbye to the 2022 year and with hope in the All-Merciful Lord we enter the new 2023 year. The past year was marked for the Simferopol and Crimean diocese by many important events.
Together with all the fullness of the Holy Mother Church, we celebrated a significant event — 600 years since the acquisition of the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh, hegumen of the Russian land.
In honor of this anniversary, with the blessing of His Holiness His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’, an ark with a particle of the relics of this marvelous saint of God arrived on the God-saving Crimean land for prayerful worship and strengthening the spiritual, mental and bodily strength of the Crimeans.
In 2022 year, we also celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the formation of the Interfaith Council of Crimea «Peace is a gift of God», which throughout the entire period directed its activities to strengthening interethnic and interfaith peace and harmony in the God-saving Crimean land.
Last year, the restoration of churches and the return of their Holy Mother Church continued. Helping God in the revived male monastery in honor of the Monk Lazar of Murom in the village. Skalistoye (Bakla) of the Bakhchisarai district, the construction was completed and the consecration of the fraternal building was completed, as well as the painting of the baptistery of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the city of Simferopol.
Over the past period, the Simferopol and Crimean diocese continued to actively develop its educational and missionary activities, paid great attention to cultural and social service, educating young people in the traditions of the Orthodox Church and their native Fatherland, bringing all their labors as a gift to the Born Christ.
Beloved in the Lord, dear masters, fathers, brothers and sisters! From the bottom of my heart with love in Christ, again and again I congratulate all of you on the feast of the Nativity of Christ and the upcoming New Year!
In these saving days, let our hearts become a manger ready to receive the Divine Infant Jesus, and our good deeds become precious gifts that we are always ready to bring to Him. May all those who need it feel our love and receive our help. And may this love and good deeds heal the wounds of insults and divisions, bring joy and mutual understanding to people. So that the angelic choir sounds stronger and stronger, proclaiming: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth — peace, good will in people!”
May the new 2023 year be peaceful, creative and prosperous, and for each of us — saving!
May Christ the Savior, now born in Bethlehem, keep us all all the days of our earthly life!
CHRIST IS BORN, PRAISE!
Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea