GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA ARCHEPISCOPAL ENCYCLICAL
Prot. No. 363/2023
Archepiscopal Encyclical on the New Year 2024
January 1, 2024
Ὥστε εἴ τις ἐν Χριστῷ καινὴ κτίσις· τὰ ἀρχαῖα παρῆλθεν, ἰδοὺ γέγονε καινὰ τὰ πάντα.
(Πρὸς Κορινθίους Β´ 5:17)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation! What’s past has passed.
Behold! Everything is new!
(II Cor 5:17)
Unto the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Pious Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, Honorable Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Members of Leadership 100, the Day and Afternoon Schools, Philoptochos Societies, the Youth, Greek Orthodox Organizations, and the entirety of the Christ-named Plenitude of the Holy Archdiocese of America:
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
On this first day of the New Year of 2024, let us embrace the newness in Christ, which He has appointed for our renewal and salvation. The Apostle Paul reminds us that we are, in fact, new creations! And that whatever has transpired is beyond us, forgiven and even forgotten. For every new year — whether this civil one, or the Ecclesiastical New Year on September 1 — is a call and opportunity to begin again. Why? Because in Christ, “everything is new.”
This is the truest and the best optimism. Neither a false hope for the future, nor a denial of mistakes in the past. We press forward in Christ, Who is an ever-flowing fountain of love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. This is how we are called to live — in the dynamic flow of God’s grace through the Holy Spirit. Whether it is by our participation in the Sacred Mysteries of the Church, or by applying the teachings of our Savior in our everyday lives. When we pray, “give us this day our daily bread,” it is much more than an invocation of the Eucharist, as precious and profound as it is. We are affirming that the gift of life itself is a constant source of God’s nourishing love and care.
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, let us embrace 2024 with the optimism that is grounded in the truth of God. And as we base our hopes in the promises of His Grace, let us remember the Saint of this Day, and the sacred institution of our Archdiocese that bears his righteous name. Saint Basil Academy is a literal incarnation of new beginnings. It is a place of God’s love and His promise where newness of life flourishes. Let us always generously remember the Academy and its mission. And may the New Year of God’s grace bestow upon you and all those you love the blessings of good health of body and soul, and the newness of life that propels you to reach for even greater spiritual heights.
With much paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America
Note: To be read in every parish of the Archdiocese on Monday, January 1, 2024.