Greetings of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas to His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos and the Coptic Community:
Your Eminence, Archbishop Angaelos, Beloved Brother in Christ,
As You and the flock entrusted to Your care by the ancient and martyric Coptic Church celebrate the feast of Nayrouz, the Coptic New Year, I greet You and embrace You in the spirit of love, unity and solidarity, especially in these difficult and challenging times.
The beginning of a new year allows us to reflect on the past, just as it allows us to look forward with optimism and hope. We have come to understand that we share many of the same problems and challenges in life, just as we can share the same solutions and answers. While Your spiritual roots are in Alexandria, your faithful have gone to all parts of the world and carried with them the traditions and message that was entrusted and safeguarded for them by generations of pious and devout people. Those who kept this testament in their hearts and minds never lost hope but lived with the dream and vision that the Lord would reward their patience and endurance, as their hope was and is in the Lord God. We recall the words of the Prophet Isaiah, who said, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). Your flock and the Coptic Christians across the globe have never forgotten the promises of God to those who believe and trust in Him, knowing that the covenant of God is trustworthy . Along with You I tell Your flock, as Joshua did to the nation of Israel, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and of good courage (Joshua 10:25).
Please, then, accept the following words of prayer which come from my own liturgical tradition:
“Lord our God, you abide in unapproachable light, the source of wisdom and learning, Who imparted wisdom to Solomon and through the intervention of the Holy Spirit turned the fishermen into proclaimers of the Gospel, teachers and Apostles. It is You, Lord, Who said: “Let light shine out of darkness.” Let Your everlasting light and the knowledge of Your truth shine in the hearts of the flock of our brother Angaelos and the faithful of his communities here in the United Kingdom and everywhere. Grant them the spirit of wisdom, illumine their spiritual eyes, that they may perceive and do Your will. Make them children of light, bearing the fruit of good works and growing in that wisdom which is from above.”
May these words be realized, so this year will be the true year of blessedness and grace – the year of the Lord, not only for Archbishop Angaelos and His fock, but for all people. May the days to come be filled with health, prosperity, goodness and every good and perfect gift which comes from above for the Coptic faithful. All this we ask in your holy name. Amen.