His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, officiated Saturday night the Akathist Hymn to our Lord Jesus Christ. Prayers of thanksgiving were also offered for the past year 2016. The service was officiated at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest and many believers took part.
In his midnight speech, Patriarch Daniel spoke about the time of salvation as a spiritual ladder towards eternal life.
The service that we officiate when the years change is a thanksgiving for the bounties poured out by God upon us during the past year, and an intercession so that God bless the crown of the year, which has started. Furthermore, the Akathist to our Saviour Jesus Christ read during this service shows how important it is to sanctify the time of our life by invoking the salvific name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of the world and King of all ages, His Beatitude said.
Patriarch Daniel went on to explain that time is the way of existence that creation has, while eternity is God’s way of existence. He also stressed that the time of salvation, or the time when man unites with God, is offered to humans in the Church.
Church maintains the balance and communion between time and eternity, being a historical icon of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why every year is the year of salvation in the Orthodox Church.
Finally, the Patriarch of Romania offered everyone small icons depicting St Basil the Great, celebrated by the Church on January 1st, and His Beatitude’s Christmas pastoral letter.
The liturgical answers were given by the Tronos Byzantine Music Choir of the Patriarchal Cathedral.