After weeks of work cleaning, building, painting, and moving, we held our first vespers service tonight in the new space for our church. Although we barely had the icons up in the santuary and many still need to be hung in the nave, praying there was beautiful. “Now as we come to the setting sun and behold the evening lights, we praise God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!” Vespers was timed perfectly: as we prayed, the sunset transformed the interior of the church in a wash of changing colors, a deep orange and then crimson. It feels so appropriate and good to be starting out in this wonderfully almost four-times larger space at the beginning of a new ecclesiastical year. As our new metropolitan, his beatitude, Herman, reminds us, the church year is about the mystery of our redemption. With every year, we learn a little better what it means to repent and be saved. Praise God for his goodness to us over this past year.
O designer and creator of all that is, in your power you arranged the seasons and the times. So now, bless this year we begin through your goodness, give all your people lasting peace, and by prayers of the Theotokos, save us.
Enthroned on high, O Christ, our God, you are the designer and creator of all things, whether visible or hidden from our sight, of day and night, of the seasons and the times. Bless this year we now begin, and preserve your people from all evil, O most merciful Lord.
– Troparion and Kondakion for the New Year by New Skete Monastery