The Beginning of the Church's Year
On this day, when the Jews celebrated the new summer, the Savior, came to Nazareth where He was brought up and entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day as was His custom, and read these words of the Prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed Me ... to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4, 18:19). On the first of September 312 the Emperor Constantine the Great won a victory over Maxentius. After this Christians were granted complete freedom to confess their faith. In commemoration of these two events the fathers of the First Ecumenical Council decided to begin the New Year on the first of September (See January 1, March 1 and the Paschalia). In its hymns for this day the Holy Church prays "Creator and Fashioner of all things visible and invisible" "bless the crown of the year", "grant fruitful seasons and rains from heaven for those on earth", "bless our comings and goings, direct the works of our hands and grant us forgiveness of offences", "grant peace to Thy churches", "overthrow heresies", "protect our cities unbesieged, make glad our faithful Sovereigns by Thy power, giving them victories against enemies".