The 1st of the month, the Day of the INDICTION! or beginning of the New Ecclesiastical Year
On this day, the Church of Christ observes the Indiction, or proclamation of the beginning of the ecclesiastical year. The term derives from the practice of the Roman
Emperors, who used to impose a tax every year at this time for the maintenance of the army. The rate of this annual levy was fixed by proclamation every fifteen years. This is why each cycle of fifteen years starting from the reign of Caesar Augustus, three
years before the birth of Christ, is called an Indiction.
Besides, September is the time for harvesting the fruits of the earth and for making ready for a new round of growth, so it is proper to honour the beginning of the agricultural cycle by giving thanks to God for His loving-kindness towards His creation.
This is already what the Jews did under the old Law. On the first day of their seventh month (corresponding to the beginning of September) they kept the Feast of Trumpets” resting from every kind of work and devoting themselves entirely to the offering of sacrifices of a sweet savour, and to the praise of God (Lev. 23:24-25)
Christ, the Son and Word of God, Creator of all things visible and invisible, pre-eternal King of all the ages, who took flesh to restore all things to unity and to reconcile the whole of humanity, Jews and Gentiles, in one only Church, has also wished to gather to, Himllself the things subject to the laws of nature and what He ordained in the written Law. This is why, on this day, when nature is about to unfold anew the course of the seasons, we commemorate the occasion when the Lord Jesus Christ entered the
Synagogue and, opening the book of Isaiah, read the passage where the Prophet says in His name: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19).
And so today all the Churches, gathered together in oneness of mind, praise with one voice Him who is single in His nature and threefold in His Persons, who dwells in bliss everlasting, holds all things in being, and showers blessings upon the works of His hands at all times. It is Christ Himself who opens to us the gates of the year and who calls us to follow Him, so as to share in His eternity.
THE SYNAXARION, The Lives of the Saints of the
Orthodox Church By HIEROMONK MAKARIOS OF SIMONOS PETRA
Translatedfrom the French by Christopher Hookway
Holy Convent of The Annunciation of Our Lady
Ormylia (Chalkidike) 1998