Voices from Russia

Friday, 30 December 2016

30 December 2016. On the New Year…

00 Russian New Year 06. Moscow Red Square New Year Tree. 01.01.15

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Since childhood, I’ve loved the New Year holiday. For me, this day conjures up such things as family cosiness, with joy and gifts for every Soviet child. Then, when I grew older, as a student, I celebrated the holiday with gusto… that’s normal for young people. Yes, it’s true that I wasn’t yet “churched”. When that happened, of course, everything changed, but all the same, the New Year is still a positive part of my life. However, there’s a time for everything… being drunk and running in the streets at midnight shouting, “Ura! The New Year!”, apparently, is something we lose along with our adolescence. There are those who believe that Orthodox believers shouldn’t celebrate the New Year. Of course, some things are unacceptable, such as rampant drunkenness, but some things are innocent. Now, for me, the holiday helps me to understand the past year in my life, to help me transition to a new part of my life. For many years, I’ve served Divine Liturgy on New Year’s Eve. Usually, there aren’t many people there, maybe 50 or so, but we serve the liturgy with great joy, for we’re beginning the New Year with prayer and communion. After the service, we all get together for a meal together. Mostly, it’s my family and our regular parishioners. However, often, random people come in off the street… they’re walking around, exploding firecrackers… then, suddenly, why, there’s an open church, with church bells ringing… they open the door, the icons catch their eyes, and before you know it, they stay until the end of the Liturgy. They’ll remember this unexpected New Year’s Eve experience for a very long time.

00-fr-aleksei-uminsky-russia-121216Archpriest Aleksei Uminsky

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