Nativity of the Lord 2023

Dear Friends of Saint Dumitru Monastery,

Listen, O heaven! Be attentive, O earth! See the Son and Word of the Father as he comes to be born from a maiden who has not known man, through the good pleasure of the Father who fathered him before all ages. He is conceived by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit. (Sticheron, Lord I have cried…, Forefeast of the Nativity)

The Son of God has become man. Whatever might happen, He is with us. His very name is Emmanuel  God with us (cf. Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). We are no longer alone in “the region and shadow of death” (cf. Psalm 22:4, Matthew 4:16). Whatever might happen—and many things will happen!—He is with us. And He is All-Mighty! Therefore, let us cling to Him with all our strength and thus we will not perish, no matter how great the power of the evil one in the world. For “no one can rip out of His hands the souls who love Him and who call on His name for help” (Fr. Arsenie Papacioc).

Yet He became man to teach us “that God is our Father” (Abp. Justinian Chira). To heal us from being ignorant towards the “heavenly Father”, from our unfamiliarity with “our heavenly Father”. For this reason, He brought and bestowed upon us the gift of repentance, which is “returning to [abide in] God’s heart” (St. John Chrysostom). Therefore, in every waking moment, we need to learn to practice repentance. Until when? Is there an end? Until that point when, with sincerity, in the tenderness of our heart, we can call God our “Heavenly Father”, just like Archbishop Justinian. To cultivate this familiarity with the Father is the sign that our repentance has borne fruit.

Gratitude. This year was a year with bountiful accomplishments, both material and especially spiritual for our monastery. We are beyond grateful to our good God for all these gifts and blessings. And we are grateful for all of you, who, with love, sacrifice, and a good heart have contributed to the blessings that were poured out upon our monastery this year. We entreat our good Savior, His Most-Pure Mother, and our Holy Father Dimitrie that they may reward you!

Service Schedule. In this festal period, like in years past, we have planned a rich schedule of services, in which we warmly invite you to participate. In particular, we will continue serving the Mystery of Holy Unction on Saturdays beginning at 11am. You may consult the service schedule here: https://sfdumitru.org/en/liturgical-schedule/.

Kursk Root Icon. We have the joy of inviting you to join us at the onset of the year, Monday, January 1, 2024, beginning at 4pm, at the Cathedral of the Sign in Manhattan, 93rd St. & Park Ave. With the blessing of H.E. Nikolai, Metropolitan of the Russian Church Abroad (ROCOR) and of our Metropolitan, H.E. Nicolae, we will serve the Akathist Hymn before the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, for protection and blessing in the New Year.

“Gift upon gift gives birth to heaven.” We share with you a carol with which the “Innocent of Probota” Psaltic Group honored us this past Sunday: https://youtu.be/2FiWDsjos_8.

In closing, we wish that the Nativity of our Savior Jesus Christ may touch your hearts and fill them with hope, strength, and joy.

In Christ, our Lord and Savior,

Protosyngellos Ieremia
Abbot of Saint Dumitru Monastery

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