MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. In spite of the rush typically preceding for the New Year’s overnight feast, hundreds of thousands of believers from the global Russian Orthodox congregation plan to come to their churches on Thursday and to attend a brief intercessory prayer service where special prayers for happiness, tranquility and prosperity in the New Year will be chanted.
All in all, the prayer will be chanted in more than 30,000 churches and 800 monasteries in almost 70 countries of the world, including all the former Soviet republics, the Reverend Alexander Volkov, the press secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I told TASS.
"By tradition, on December 31, on the eve of the secular New Year, the intercessory prayer services are held in all the Russian Orthodox churches," he said. "The clerics and the lay appeal to God in them for bestowing tranquility and prosperity on us in the coming year."
"From the point of view of the Church, a prayer preceding this new period of our lives - and everyone naturally associates the New Year holiday with a period of this kind - comes forwards as a natural accompanying element," the Rev Volkov said. "And hence these services are held in every parish."
"Patriarch Kirill I, too, will lead a prayer service in the Savior’s Cathedral in Moscow at 19:00 hours," he added.
"By tradition, the Patriarch always addresses the global (Russian Orthodox) congregation with a valedictory message during these prayers," the Rev Volkov said.