O Lord our God, Source of life and immortality, Creator of all things, both visible and invisible. You have appointed seasons and years by Your power, and You direct all things by Your most-wise and most-gracious providence: We thank You for Your generous gifts, which You have given us during this passing year and our whole life.
And we ask You, O Most Compassionate Lord, to bless the coming new year with Your goodness. Grant us to grow stronger in faith and in love toward You and one another. Remember our parents and loved ones, those who have gone to their rest with hope and faith in the Resurrection, and grant health and length of days to those still living. Bless our children and our efforts in raising them to be good Christians and light of the world. Guide us as we strive to glorify You, our Good God, in our daily lives and in our communal worship. Teach us to be good servants to those in need around us, following the example that You Yourself have set for us.
Instruct all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict, and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Make us to end the storing and using of the devices of war. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease, and oppression.
Also, we pray that You make Church schisms to cease. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide our hierarchs, that they may rightly teach the word of Your truth, and that they may bear witness to the unity of the Church in all their decisions. Preserve us, O Lord, from the Evil One and all his attempts to divide us, from the machinations of the governments, from the ambitions of fallen people, and from the sin of pride.
Throughout the new year and our whole life, count us worthy to always offer thanksgiving to You, the Father, Who has no beginning, together with Your Only-begotten Son, and Your Most Holy, Good, and Life-giving Spirit, God glorified in one Essence unto ages of ages.
Sermon delivered on the last day of 2017.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.
Happy upcoming New Year!
There is a tradition, as the last seconds of the old year are ticking down, to make a wish, as if asking the unknown and mysterious future to grant our wishes, and expecting from the coming year something that we desire the most.
The Byzantine Creation Era, also "Creation Era of Constantinople," or "Era of the World" (Greek: Έτη Γενέσεως Κόσμου κατά 'Ρωμαίους also Έτος Κτίσεως Κόσμου or Έτος Κόσμου ) was the Calendar officially used by the Eastern Orthodox Church from ca. AD 691 to 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate, by the Byzantine Empire from AD 988 to 1453, and in Russia from ca. AD 988 to 1700.
Derived from the Septuagint version of the Bible, it placed the date of creation at 5,509 years before the Incarnation, and was characterized by a certain tendency which had already been a tradition amongst Hebrews and Jews to number the years from the foundation of the world (Latin: Annus Mundi/Ab Origine Mundi [AM]). Its year one, the supposed date of creation, was September 1, 5509 BC to August 31, 5508 BC.