St. Dimitri of Rostov / The Feast of the Indiction

St. Dimitri of Rostov exhorts the following for the the Feast of the Indiction:

Therefore, offering Him thanksgiving, let us celebrate that acceptable year of the Lord, for we have received many and ineffable good things from His hand. Let us make haste to be wellpleasing in His sight. Let us celebrate, not the Indiction enacted by the Roman emperors, but that which has been ordained for us by Christ, the heavenly King of Glory. The tribute due to Christ from us on the occasion of the Indiction is the keeping and the fulfillment of His holy commandments, for Christ our King does not ask of us iron and brass. Neither does He exact silver nor demand gold, as David has made clear, saying to Him: ‘Thou art my Lord; for of my goods no need hast Thou’ (Ps. 15).
That we might with an upright heart believe in Him, He requires of us not iron and brass, but the virtue of faith, grounded firmly and strongly in Orthodox piety, which is founded upon the blood shed by the holy martyrs, who were tortured for the Christian faith with weapons of iron and implements and vessels of brass, as it is said: ‘His life was spent in irons’ (Ps. 104)…. Instead of silver, Christ our King requires of us the virtue of undoubting trust in God, which more than silver assures a man of a prosperous life… Such is the immaterial silver which the Lord requires of us. He commands that we trust not in riches, which quickly perish, but that we trust in the living God, Whose words ‘are pure words, silver that is fired’ (Ps. 11)….

Instead of gold, Christ our King demands the most precious virtue, unfeigned love for God and our neighbor, always represented by the teachers of the Church as gold because of its great value. Just as gold is more precious than silver, brass, or iron, so love is more honorable than hope and faith, as it is written: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love’ (1 Cor. 13)….

The Orthodox Church now celebrates the Christian Indiction rather than that of the ancient heathen, ‘having put off the old man with his deeds, and having put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him’ (Col. 3). Thus let us celebrate the New Year as the Apostle counsels us, saying: ‘We should walk in newness of life, that we should serve God in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter’ (Rom. 6). Let us celebrate the Indiction, submitting to the ordinance of the Lord our God that was delivered through Moses, which is now read from the Book of Leviticus: ‘If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them, then I will give peace in the land, and ye shall pursue your enemies and I will look upon you, and bless you, and My soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people’ (Lev. 26), says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel.

Apolytikion in the Second Tone
Creator of the universe, setting times and seasons by Your sole authority, bless the cycle of the year of Your grace, O Lord, guarding our rulers and Your nation in peace, at the intercession of the Theotokos, and save us.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
You who created all things in Your infinite wisdom, and set the times by Your own authority, grant Your Christian people victories. Blessing our comings and goings throughout this year, guide our works according to Your divine will.

On this day, since established by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1989, the Orthodox also offer special prayers to God to protect the environment, which because of our sins is continuously being harmed. The following is from the Synaxarion of the Service for the Protection of the Environment:

On the same day, the beginning of the Indiction, we entreat our God, who loves mankind, for the welfare of the earth on which we live and for the whole creation.

We fall before you, Master, as we cry:
O Savior, from pollutions free the earth.

Apolytikion in Tone Four
Lord and Savior, who as God brought all things into being by a word, establishing laws and governing them unerringly to your glory, at the prayers of the Mother of God, keep secure and unharmed all the elements which hold the earth together, and save the universe.

Kontakion in Tone Two
With Your all-powerful strength you framed all things, both visible and invisible; and so keep unharmed, we implore your goodness, the environment that surrounds the earth.

At all times keep unharmed the whole creation we beg you, O Redeemer, and grant us breaths of winds and breezes moist with dew for our safety and salvation, O Lover of mankind.