For the New Year, in the joy of the feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and of Saint Basil the Great with his mother Emilia, on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, His Grace Father Bishop Macarie Drăgoi of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe celebrated the all-night Vigil and the Holy Liturgy at the Chapel of the Diocesan Center in Stockholm, Sweden.
In his New Year’s message, His Grace Macarie said:
“In His indefinite mercy, God has allowed us one more year on this earth. According to the civil calendar, 2019 is ending and 2020 is rising. Here we are, already in the year 7528 since the creation of the world and in 2020 since the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. If the estimating of years is relative, the passage of time is certain. Every year, every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute and every moment that passes, passes forever. And every year, every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute and every moment that come, are gifts from God to earn our Salvation, that is, to use them to cultivate peace, love, goodness and mercy between one another. It seems that nothing, in these chronophagous times, is more worn out than the attention we pay to these moments given to us for Salvation. Because before us the enemies of Salvation seek to rob us of this time given to us for repentance and try to deviate from our life’s purpose, offering us this contract with the world: Give me your soul and those of the others in your family and you shall receive instead strong sensations that will make you forget about your true purpose, which will silence the voice of your conscience and the beating of your heart. So, dear brother, dear sister, let us truly cherish the year and day in which we live, in which we have the blessed opportunity to work our salvation, acquiring a good and sensitive heart to share as a warm and sweet bread to those who hunger and thirst for truth, love, understanding. In this new year that begins, I wish you, from the heart of the soul, dear brother, dear sister, to be part of the care of the Most Merciful God, of the protection of the Virgin Mary and of the help of the saints! Happy and blessed years, full of Christ!”
The Hierarch congratulated all those who bear the name of Saint Basil the Great and offered gifts to the children present at the service. At the end of the service, the faithful worshiped the relic icon of Saint Basil the Great in which a fragment of his holy relics is preserved.
In the following days, before the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Father Bishop Macarie is visiting at home the Romanian families from Sweden, blessing them with holy water from Theophany.