Epistles

Nativity Encyclical 2016

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2016

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!  (St. Luke 2:14)

We find ourselves, once again, before the Nativity Feast Day, before the feast day of immeasurable love of God, for today in the city of David Christ the Lord is born (cf. St. Luke 2:11), Emmanuel, which is to say, “God with us”. (St. Matthew 1:23) This great Mystery of the Incarnation of God the Logos, hidden from the beginning of the ages (cf. St. John 1:2), was first announced by the angels of God with their Christmas hymn of peace and love (cf. St. Luke 2:14). Then, they were joined by the shepherds and wise men from the east, gathering, therefore, both heaven and earth, angels and people, and all earthly nations, around the God-Child Christ in the Church of the Living God. (II Cor. 6:16)

Patriarchal Pascha Encyclical 2016

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2016

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting:

Christ is Risen!

“Christ is risen, trampling down death and raising the dead. Rejoice, all you people!”

(Paschal Canon, Ode 9)

Let us celebrate today, dear brothers and sisters, our Lord God, “For He has visited and redeemed His people” (St. Luke 1:68) and with the light of His Resurrection He enlightens the entire universe! Let us glorify our Lord “who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised for our justification”. (Romans 4:25) Let us glorify our Lord Who, having become a man for us, has died so that by His Resurrection he could open to us doors of new life! For all of us who have been baptized into Christ, in Christ we have died to the old man, so that resurrected, reborn, renewed in Him, we can live with Him forever. (cf. Romans 6:8) Christ is risen from the dead and has become the Firstborn of the dead (cf. I Corinthians 15:20), so that we too who have died in Adam, may be made alive in Christ, becoming a new creation.

Patriarchal Nativity Enclyclical

The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2015

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

"Sing to the Lord; bless His name;
Proclaim His salvation from day to day;
Declare His glory among the Gentiles,
His wonders among all peoples."

(Psalm 95 (96): 2-3)

With these words, dear brothers and sisters in Christ the Lord and our dear spiritual children, King David calls us to this Feast Day and to this festive celebration which the Lord Himself has prepared with His Birth from the Most Holy Virgin Mary in the Bethlehem cave. Two thousand years ago, the Most Holy Virgin Mary, together with the righteous Joseph, came to Bethlehem of Judea to be registered. Joseph's registering among his brothers and his kinsman served in the economy of salvation and in fulfilling the prophecy told by prophet Micah: "And you, O Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, though you are fewest in number among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the One to be ruler of Israel. His goings forth were from the beginning, even from everlasting." (Micah 5:1)

Patriarchal Pascha Encyclical

The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2015

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting:
 

Christ is Risen!

“Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of Hades, and didst arise as victor, O Christ God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women, rejoice, and giving peace unto Thine Apostles, O Thou Who dost grant resurrection to the fallen.”

(Paschal Kontakion)

     This song of immortality, our dear spiritual children, we sing ceaselessly during these days of our celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, which occurred, as the ancient seers of God's mysteries witnessed, on the same day of the week on which God created in the beginning - out of nothing - heaven and earth.
     On that same day, according to those same mystery-perceivers, the Lord delivered His chosen people from Egyptian slavery; hence, we call it Pascha – that is, the passing-over from slavery into freedom in the Lord through the Red Sea.

Patriarchal Nativity Encyclical 2014

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2014

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

“Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory. ”
(I Tim. 3:16)

     We are celebrating once again in this year of the Lord, brothers and sisters, the day of Christ’s Nativity, the day on which God descended to earth, the day on which the Only-begotten Son of God became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary in order to grant us, mortal and transitory people, eternal life.

     The Nativity of our Lord is the day on which God became man, so that men could become gods by grace; the Lord’s Nativity is the day of the revelation of the eternal truth about God, man and the world; the Nativity is the day on which heaven was united with earth; the day on which the eternal light of the knowledge of God shown forth; the Nativity is the day on which mankind is reconciled with God and people recognize that they are children of God – that all people are and will eternally be brothers, called to mutual love, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Paschal Encyclical

THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TO HER SPIRITUAL CHILDREN AT PASCHA, 2014

I R I N E J

BY THE GRACE OF GOD ORTHODOX ARCHBISHOP OF PEC, METROPOLITAN OF BELGRADE-KARLOVCI AND SERBIAN PATRIARCH, WITH ALL THE HIERARCHS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH – TO ALL THE CLERGY, MONASTICSS, AND ALL THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF OUR HOLY CHURCH: GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER, AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, WITH THE JOYOUS PASCHAL GREETING:

CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!

Today is the Spring-time of our souls,
For coming forth from the tomb,
Christ shines like the sun, Dispelling the gloom of our sins!
We will sing out to Him, for gloriously has He been glorified!
(Paschal service hymn)

When an early spring arrives after a long and cold winter, all of nature and God's creation rejoices in the sun and its warm rays and energy which illuminates and warms everything and all things without exception. Everything then glorifies the Lord, the Giver of sun and spring. So do we, dear brothers and sisters and our dear spiritual children, after a cold and terrible winter of sin, especially after the killing of the God-Man Jesus Christ on Holy Friday on Golgotha, seeing today the Resurrected Christ, do we joyfully exclaim and sing: Today is the Spring-time of our souls! Christ – the Sun of life from the East – has risen and shone from the tomb. He has expelled a dark storm of our sins! Him let us magnify for He has been glorified! That is why we are joyful today, that is why together with the angels in heaven and with all people of this world do we gloriously sing: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.