Dec 31 2007 8:42PM
Russian church head leads New Year's Eve service
MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) - The head of the Russian Orthodox Church,
Patriarch Alexy II, urged Orthodox Russians on Monday to live out their faith.
"As we bid farewell to the outgoing year, we should look back at the
year that we have lived and to thank the Lord for all the mercies
that the Lord has granted us," Alexy told the congregation during a
regular New Year's Eve service for Russia's wellbeing.
Alexy, who led the service, made special mention of the reunification
of the Moscow-based Orthodox Church with the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia, an event that took place in Moscow on May 17.
"Now that we are standing on the threshold of the new year, the
future is a secret to us," he said at the service, held at the
Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow. "But we must rely on the will of God."
"The spiritual revival that is taking place in our land today is a
Divine grace that the Lord is revealing before us," the patriarch said.
Alexy expressed a desire that "our land should become stronger, that
peace and accord should become asserted between people, that the name
of God should be glorified not only at churches but also in the heart
of each of us."
The cathedral was packed to the full during the service, which
brought together more than 800 people. Most of those present were
middle-aged but there were many young people as well. as