In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Glory to Your Glorious Nativity and Revelation, O Lord.
Today we perceive the good news of Christ’s Holy Nativity and joyfully give praise to God for his grace of salvation. “We praise Him,” says the Apostle, “who is able to keep us without blemish and blameless and present us before His glory in pure rejoicing” (Jude 1:24).
The angel conveys the good tidings of the Child who was born in the manger and has come into the world, saying, “to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2.11). Christ was born from the Holy Virgin, filled with the awe of God, adorned with heavenly virtues. The Son of God grew up under the pious familial care of the faithful Holy Mother of the Lord and Saint Joseph, who enduring difficulty and persecution, cared for Infant Jesus, becoming themselves participants in His divine mission through their faithful life.
In the miracle-laden scene of the Holy Nativity, dearly beloved, we see that the path of salvation began with the family. It is from the family that the illumined road — which gives people the ability to become heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom — was borne out of. Indeed, through Christ, we are those adopted by God. Through Christ, God the Creator is our Father, who loves us and renews our life through the hopeful and blessed joy of the Holy Nativity. The proclamation of the Savior’s Birth engulfs our souls, fulfils our spiritual life and feelings, and bestows strength and power to remain in God’s will, to strengthen the paths of peace, justice, love and solidarity in our life and deeds, as well as to unceasingly praise God and say, “Glory to Your Glorious Birth and Revelation, O Lord.”
Beloved faithful, in soul-stirring excitement of the Holy Nativity our prayerful thoughts are also with our faithful brothers and sisters of the great world family, who mark this sacred day in affliction and suffering. Our thoughts are directed toward those places, where human life is continuously troubled by injustice, unquenchable desire for unmitigated power, and greed; where people continue to bear the pain and suffering brought about by poverty, the violation of rights and warfare; where violence often begets violence, hatred begets hatred, and where deception and lies are multiplied by new falsifications.
Whether they be in interpersonal relationships, families or between nations and governments, these expressions of evil lead to dead ends and crises, which require constant effort and vigilance in order to overcome. Ungodly paths of pseudo-liberalism — which divert people from the life which the Lord commanded us to live, from spiritual life — likewise lead to dead ends, undermining the foundations of a healthy society and strong family. It is through the God-ordained paths of salvation, bestowed upon us by Christ, that humanity is able to be and remain a global family on its planet, lessening its wounds with mutual love and help, caring for one another’s needs, addressing the world’s problems, and living out the angel’s proclamation of, “on earth peace, good will among men,” which resounded at the grace-filled hour of Christ’s Holy Nativity.
In the blessed era of our history, our people became one family through Christ, being enlightened by the life-giving graces of the Lord. As true children of our Christ-embracing nation, we are obliged to protect the loyal path of our pious ancestors, leading to our Lord, through unshaken faith and through living and working with a conviction for betterment. Today, in the new changes of our life, hope and optimism for new achievements, success, and victories soar. By supporting each other, we shall be able to improve our life in the homeland and in the diaspora, to protect our borders and national rights, to empower Armenia, and our own land of Artsakh.
The very first platform for bringing up worthy sons and daughters for the homeland and for educating a citizen for the country is the family. It is in the family that the future of a nation is shaped, that the foundations of a powerful country are laid. It is under the family’s nurturing roofs that the sown seeds of God’s word bears fruit in children’s souls, that the spiritual – moral values, the fearless spirit of choosing the good, are being nurtured. It is by the examples shown in the family that mutual love, trust and care are instilled. Let us remain dedicated to the sanctity and the strengthening of the family. Let us preserve unblemished the idea of the God-ordained family, its sanctity, the national traditions. Let us protect and enhance our national and spiritual life, and remain perpetually in the grace of the Lord’s adoption as one faithful family, as God’s own people.
Emphasizing the importance of the value and fundamental mission of the God-blessed family in our national, state and public life, we proclaim 2019 to be the Year of the Family. We encourage our ecclesiastical and diocesan bodies and clergymen to initiate family centered assistance projects and events, undertake pilgrimages to the Fatherland and Holy Etchmiadzin, to the dominical and national sacred sites, in order to strengthen in faith, warmly kindle the flame of love toward the homeland and the sacred realization of being a son and a daughter of the nation and the Fatherland.
We send Our brotherly greeting with the joyous proclamation of the Holy Nativity to the incumbents of the hierarchical sees of our Apostolic Holy Church; to His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, to the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Nourhan Manougian. We pray for the health of the bedridden Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Mesrop Mutafian. With supplication to the Savior’s graces, we send our greetings to the heads of our sister Churches. With patriarchal blessing we greet and bring our best wishes to the President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Armen Sarkissian, to the acting Prime Minister Mr. Nikol Pashinyan, who are present at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. We extend our greetings to President Bako Sahakyan of the Republic of Artsakh; to Armenia’s state officials, to the representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia. We bring our pontifical love, blessings and best wishes to the clergy of our Holy Church and all our faithful people.
On this soul-reviving day of the Holy Nativity, we pray and beseech that heavenly graces might multiply upon the earth, and that people might abundantly bear good fruits, love, justice, peace, compassion and mercy, which withstand evil and make path towards the luminous future of humanity.
With prayer to God, we implore that He may keep our people in His all-caring protection and love, and so that He may grant strength and power to build up the new day of their life and to remain a blessed, dedicated family of Christ, to unceasingly praise with loyal heart and say. “Glory to Your Glorious Birth and Revelation, O Lord.”
With such feelings of thanksgiving we joyfully bring the good news to our faithful people around the world and proclaim:
Christ is born and revealed,
To you and us the Good News.