Even though "The Passing of the Year" is about the moment when the old year changes into the new one, it doesn't really have that much to say about the future. For the most part, our speaker seems to be kind of stuck in the past. He's going over memories from the last year – his own and other people's. For the most part, things don't seem to have gone all that well. Let's just say we hope you had a better last year than most of these folks.
"The Passing of the Year" is about the pain and difficulty of the passage of time. The text is an elaborate cover for the narrator's refusal to let go of the past.
The poem offers the speaker a chance to process his thoughts about the year. That work then allows him to come to his calm, final farewell to the past.