Home page News
Christmas Message by Patriarch Kirill of Mosc…

Christmas Message by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

Christmas Message

by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monks and Nuns and

All the Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church

Beloved in the Lord archpastors, all-honourable priests and deacons, God-beloved 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 our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The wondrous miracle of the incarnation of God, which was accomplished more than two thousand years ago, today fills our souls with ineffable joy. “Today God has come upon the earth and man ascends to the heavens” (Verse for Festal Vespers). The Maker and Provider of all things has appeared in the world, for by his grace he could not “behold mankind oppressed by the devil” (from the Office for Baptism); “overcome by love, he who has no beginning and who is beyond expression came to seek out his lost creation” (Kontakion for the Parable of the Lost Coin by St. Roman the Melodist).

The amazing prophecies of the great heralds of the Word of God have come true, and before humankind, which for thousands of years has awaited salvation and deliverance, exhausted by the burden of sin, suffering from a curse not only during its earthly life but also in the world beyond, the gates of heaven have now been opened. “From the ever-blossoming Virgin there received flesh” our Lord Jesus Christ (Canon for the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God), and the cherubim, guarding the entrance to paradise with a sword of fire, “withdraw from the tree of life” (Verse for Festal Vespers). The Divine Infant has been born for the salvation of the world, who was “born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children” (Gal 4:4-5).

Inconceivable is the Lord’s humility: in being the omnipotent Master, he appears to people as a helpless infant; in being God, he assumes corruptible flesh and endures the afflictions of earthly life; in being the Immortal One, he goes voluntarily to his tortuous and shameful death. And he does all of this not for the select few – the prophets, righteous and his faithful servants. Christ comes for each one of us, he desires salvation for all without exception – the sinners and the evildoers, the indifferent and the neglectful, the cowardly and the angry, even his murderers!

The Lord turns nobody away, never disdains anyone; on the contrary, he assumes our human flesh, renews it through his divine incarnation, his sufferings on the cross and his life-bearing resurrection; he raises it up into the bosom of the Holy Trinity and sanctifies it by his presence rightward the throne of God. And it is of the life-creating body of Christ, his most pure blood shed for each one of us that we partake in the sacrament of the Eucharist – and we become one with the same body and the same blood of not only with the Saviour but also with each other.

However, today we unfortunately see the waves of discord rocking the ship of the Church, the storm of arguments and contradictions undermining the unity of the Orthodox faithful, people, overpowered by the darkness of the enemy and tempter, discarding the Fount of living water in favour of the “the murky fount of ungodly heresies that is unfit to drink from” (Canon to the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council). At this difficult time, we must all recall that the Lord was born, crucified and rose from the dead for each one of us, that he founded on earth the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. In belonging to the Church, we are called upon to overcome discord, confrontation and conflict, to heal divisions, to help those who endure the horrors of war and suffer from oppression and injustice.

The Lord was born not in a royal palace but in a lowly cave in “abject poverty”. What, it would seem, could be worse than a cavern and poorer than a manger for cattle? Yet such a place does exist – it is the desert of the human heart scorched by sin, alienated from God, neither cold nor hot, wasted and enslaved by the passions. It is, however, within our power to make our soul a dwelling-place for God, to remember that the Lord is near, at the very gates, and that he humbly waits for us to finally see him with the eyes of faith, admit him into our lives, hear his words and respond to his love and allow him to act within us.

The whole world rejoices in the most glorious nativity of the Saviour: the angels sing hymns of praise, the shepherds are exultant, the magi worship and bring gifts to him, and it is only the embittered heart of Herod, full of envy, that does not wish to accept the divine truth, does not rejoice, yet trembles not from the fear of God but from cowardice. Let us ponder whether we too are not like him in our deeds, whether we do not make our priority our own well-being and comfort, whether we are not afraid that someone may be better than us, more talented, kinder, whether we do not do evil to such a person in trying to hurt or humiliate him before others, cast him down from his pedestal so that we may raise ourselves up a step higher. Is it not the case that the source of truth for us is not the Lord and his sacred commandments, but our very own selves? Do we not tempt others in passing off as truth our own self-serving fantasies, do we not rend asunder Christ’s robe through our ambitious actions, do we not sow the seeds of discord and discontent among our brothers and sisters in the faith?

As we gaze now upon the Divine Infant Christ and stand face to face with the divine truth, let us cast aside the “weight” of passions and “sin that clings so closely” (Heb 12:1), let us send up our ardent prayers for the strengthening of the unity of Orthodoxy and the increase of love, recalling that “love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things” (1 Cor 13:4-7).

The liturgical texts for the feast glorify not only the Lord who has been born for our salvation, but also those thanks to whom his incarnation became possible – the Most Pure Virgin Mary, the righteous Joseph the Betrothed and the holy forefathers. Let us also remember on this solemn day those who are close to us: let us visit our parents and friends, devote our attention to them, find kind words, and thank them for all they do for us. May our hearts, filled with love of God and neighbour, become the abode for the All-Merciful Christ, who is “Pre-eternal and Inconceivable, and Co-eternal with the invisible Father” (Sessional Hymn for Festal Vespers). Amen.

+ KIRILL

PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA

 

Nativity of Christ

2019

Moscow

Patriarchal message is also available in other languages:

Поделиться:
Patriarch Kirill congratulates Metropolitan Porfirije on his election to the Serbian Patriarchal See

18.02.2021

Patriarch Kirill presented with Serbian highest national award

15.02.2021

Supreme Church Council holds first online session

11.02.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral marking 12th anniversary of his enthronement

01.02.2021

Congratulations from the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church to Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada on the anniversary of his enthronement

27.01.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over passenger plane crash in the Java Sea

09.01.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over passenger plane crash in the Java Sea

09.01.2021

Patriarch Kirill Gives Christmas Interview to Rossia TV

07.01.2021

Christmas Message by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

06.01.2021

Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church to take place in November 2021

29.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s last session in 2020

29.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Primate of Orthodox Church in America hold telephone conversation

21.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill congratulates Joseph Biden on his election as President of the United States of America

15.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s address at the session of the Holy Synod held on 8th December 2020

08.12.2020

Holy Synod takes a number of decisions concerning external relations of the Russian Orthodox Church

20.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Christians in the Middle East need our compassion and prayer

22.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: At the heart of dialogue with the Catholic Church is the situation of Christians in the Middle East, culture and charity work.

22.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Western human rights lawyers prefer to remain silent on the seizure of church buildings in Ukraine

22.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Brotherly relations between the Russian and Serbian Churches will remain with the new Serbian Patriarch

21.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion spoke at an online seminar of the International Hellenic University

16.02.2021

"Freedom and Responsibility as Viewed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill". Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (International Hellenic University online seminar, 16th February 2021)

16.02.2021

Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Holy See discuss cooperation in cultural and social spheres

12.02.2021

Christian response to the pandemic challenge discussed at online-conference

12.02.2021

Supreme Church Council holds first online session

11.02.2021

Online conference «The Church and the Pandemic» will be held on February 12

11.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion on the Annulment of Anti-Church Provisions in Montenegro’s Laws

07.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk expressed his condolences on the death of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, one of the oldest clerics of the Orthodox Church in America

06.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Restoration of unity in our common Orthodox family is possible only through the denial of false ecclesiology

01.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Most Christians who lived in Iraq have had to leave that land

31.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk gave an online lecture for the Theological Institute of St. John of Damascus, Balamand University

31.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America

07.12.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

29.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God

19.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God

06.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible

25.10.2020

Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people

27.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us

13.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation

30.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: God is willing to give everyone a wonderful gift of faith, but people must be willing to accept it

16.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should be mindful of the value of human life

02.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates liturgy at Church of Antioch’s Moscow Representation on its patron saint’s day

26.07.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For Orthodox Christians Hagia Sophia will always remain a church dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ

24.07.2020

Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message