PATRIARCH: OPERATION OF AEROSPACE FORCES IN SYRIA IS FUNDAMENTALLY IMPORTANT FOR DEFENSE OF RUSSIA
by Aleksei Mikheev
RIA Novosti, 31 December 2015
The operation of Russian Aerospace Forces in the Near East has "fundamentally important significance" for "the defense of the fatherland," and the "fate of the Russian people," the patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus noted on Thursday before a New Year's prayer service in the capital's cathedral church of Christ the Savior.
"This year was very difficult both for our country and for Europe and for the whole world. It provoked anxiety in the hearts of people and this is fully understandable. For the first time, our country participated in wide-scale military actions outside of its borders . . and this, of course, could not but engender many diverse thoughts, worries, and speculations," the primate of the RPTs said.
He said, "it has become completely clear," that "what began last year will have further consequences," since now the issue is "something fundamentally important" for the fate of Russia and her citizens. He urged at the outset of the New Year "to turn to God in prayer for protection of the fatherland and preservation of our people," and that the Lord "would aid in continuing in the future joint efforts for peace and noble unanimity," designed "to strengthen public and governmental life."
The patriarch emphasized that for achieving "peace, tranquility, joy, and well-being" it is necessary to accomplish good deeds in all spheres of public activity and "to combat evil and every human injustice." He called for prayer for keeping believers from "horrible guilt" and he wished all Christians "peace, joy, and physical and spiritual well-being."
"May God save all of historic Rus," the first hierarch concluded before the beginning of the worship service.
The New Year's prayer service (or "Sung prayer for the New Year") is a special service, when believers thank God for his mercy in the past year and beseech a blessing for the coming year for one's self, one's family, and one's fatherland. As a rule, such a prayer service is performed either immediately after a divine liturgy or several hours before midnight. In modern liturgical practice it often is performed at midnight. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 January 2016)
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