On Christmas Eve Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia addressed the congregation with a message, which urged the faithful "to grow in love and do good", reports Interfax.
"How important it is that we Christians not only call upon others to follow lofty moral ideals, but endeavour to embody these very same ideals in our everyday lives and in the first instance in ministering to our neighbours," says the Primate of the ROC in his Christmas message.
Patriarch Kirill paid attention to the year 2017 we have embarked upon – "exactly one hundred years separates us from events which radically transformed the life of Russia – a great multinational country, and plunged her into the madness of civil war, when children rose up against their parents and brother against brother." Patriarch recalled the great endeavours of the new martyrs and confessors of the Church and expressed belief that due to their prayers the Lord never abandoned the people.
Patriarch Kirill called a miracle the resurrection of faith and piety within the people and the restoration of holy sites once destroyed, the construction of which is a visible sign of the profound changes that have taken place in peoples’ hearts.
"Over recent decades there have been and there remain today many difficulties and hardships. But they are all transient, and that is why we are not afraid of them. The experience of the past century has taught us many things and is to serve as a warning against many things. Let us fearlessly tread the paths of salvation, “for God is with us.” Let us be stronger in our faith, “for God is with us.” Let hope assert itself within us, “for God is with us.” Let us grow in love and accomplish good, “for God is with us,” urged the Primate of the ROC in his Christmas message.