Posts Tagged ‘de facto standard’

6th against 7th Nativity / Budni Dan / Божић, ( Christmas ) in Serbian Orthodox Church Nijmegen

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Saint Savva Nijmegen Serbian Orthodox Church Bojic Badni dan Rojdestvo Hristovo Nativity

I'm in Holland and here the closest place to Arnhem where Orthodox Holy Liturgy is served is in Nijmegen. I go every Sunday on Church taking the train from Arnhem to Nijmegen – the whole trip takes 15 to 20 minutes .One Sunday, I go to Russian Orthodox Church, and one Sunday to Serbian Orthodox Church. As a rule of thumb for us Orthodox, if we attend Orthodox Church different from your nation wide (autocephalous) Orthodox Church, the person who takes part in prayer and Eucharist communion with the respective Church should celebrate the Church feasts according to the respective Orthodox Church calendar (in my case Russian and Serbian Orthodox Church) calendar. Both Russian and Serbian Church are following the so called Old Church Calendar, where in my national Church the Bulgarian Orthodox Church just like Greeks, we follow the "New  feasts Church Calendar". The difference between the two calendars is 13 days in some of the feasts, meaning Orthodox Churches which still observe the Old Church Calendar have some of the feasts like Nativity 13 days later.

Two years ago, I've celebrated Christmas with the Russian Orthodox Church on the 3rd day of Nativity (9th of January). This year by God's great mercy I had the chance to celebrate Рождество Христово with the Serbs.

Thus  this, year I celebrate Nativity (Рождество Христово – as we say in Bulgarian following the Old Church Calendar today on 6-th against 7-th January Eve.

In Nijmegen, there will be no midnight (полунощница) Holy Liturgy, but instead on Sunday Morning, there was a Holy Liturgy in which we celebrated the feast of Nativity of the Lord Lord Jesus Christ and at the end of Church service we greeted each other with the joyful salute Christ is born – Truly he is Born!

It was a joyful service leaded by the hieromonk priest father Dushan, who is in charge of Nijmegen's, Amsterdam and Breda Westen Europe Serbian eparchy .

The Serbian Church here in Holland are blessed to have for veneration holy relics of saints:

  • st. Zosima (Tumane)
  • saint Nektarios of Aegina
  • venerable Dena (ikoki)
  • saint Tsar Urosh
  • saint Paraskeva (the Bulgarian / of the Balkans)
  • saint Nikolaj Srbskij (Velimirovich)

Serbs are very good people and everytime I go to Serbian Church, I'm warmly accepted as true brother in Christ, this time it was no different.

It was a triple  feast for me as I both celebrated the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, received the Holy Sacraments and venerated the Holy relics of this Great Saints.

In Serbian Church have, the same pious tradition like in our Bulgarian Orthodox to great each other with the Nativity (Rojdenski) Church Greeting – Христос се Роди – Воистину се Роди / Christ is born – Truly he is Born!

In Serbian Christmas is called Bozec / Badni Dan (Yule-log tree day), very similar to the Bulgarian Бъдна Вечер / Badna Vecher  (Yule-log tree night).

As I'm a bit keen on learning Serbian, I've found a video in youtube re-telling the story around the miracles surrounding the birth of the King of Kings the Lord Jesus Christ:

Верски календар – Божић / Religious calendar – Christmas- The story of Christ birth as told in Serbian Language

Here is the Serbian Church Troparion for the day Rojdestvo tvoe:


 

Рождество Твое,Христе Боже наш…(хор Матфея) – Српски / Rojdestvo Tvoem Srpski

In Serbia Christmas is known as Bozic, often written in latin as Serbs tend to write nowadays mainly in Latin, Cyrillic however is still in wide use mainly in Serbian Church. Mentioning cyrillic I should say, Serbian is in maybe 60 / 70% similar or same in words as Bulgarian language as we are brother nations, and plus the Holy Liturgy service is in Church Slavonic so I understood about 80 to 90% of all the service with no problem. Also speaking with Serbians is very easy, if I speak a simplified version of Bulgarian and they speak simple Serbian – our languages are almost identical. A Situation with Serbian and Bulgarian is very much like here Holland with German language.

There were few things in the Church, which was new for me. A native Serbian Church tradition is they bring haystacks in the Church as a remembrance for Christ being born among the hay in the manger.

seno serbian church hay haystack, bundle of hay picture

Also one other local tradition which is not in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and not in Russian Orthodox Church is bringing the yule-log tree trunk in the Church.
In Bulgaria we also put Christmas, new year tree but not the cut trunk of it.

yule log tree budnik bydnik serbian church local tradition

It was very joyful, the whole Church was full of people from ex-Yugoslavia – Serbia, Bosnia & Hertzegovina and Macedonia. The biggest joy was the plenty of children and new-borns from age around 1 year to age 7 – 10 years. There were also plenty of teenagers and people in their 20 – 30s, something I've rarely seen in Bulgaria. The fact that the Church service was all attended by Emigrants and the fact serbians help each other so much while living abroad is something that makes me rejoice, the only thing I don't understand and (pray it change) is why we Bulgarians are united like this?

At the end of the Church service, there was something I liked very much too. The little kids in the Church were invited to come to the piles of hay on the ground sitting behind the icons, and told there are candies hidden in the hay 🙂 The kids started seeking through the straws finding chocolates in different forms joying. The idea of this entertainment "game" was great, as it makes children feel at home in the Church and by doing so Serbs teach their children to love the Holy Church and by this are little by little raising the next generation of devoted Serbian Orthodox Christians. I never saw in Bulgarian Orthodox Church, any activity in our Church like this, so I think maybe if our Church organizes something like this on Christmas it will be very good for both Bulgarian Orthodox parents and kids.

To make the Church joy complete, at the end of the Church service, all the layman were invited for a cup of coffee, tea and quick fasting meal. 6-th against 7-th of January is the last day of the Nativity fasting in the Church and since the fasting is over early on 7-th morning after the night vigil and morning holy liturgy all food in the little  kitchen of the Byzantine Building ( Chapel ) was fasting

People from Church has prepared a very taste food, many of which in type was very similar to the food we eat in Bulgaria during fasting and Nativity.

Other thing impressed me in Church, was the attitude of the woman, most of them were very concerned about man, and they leave nothing in the kitchen to be done by man, they served food etc. Somehow it seemed to me that Serbian ladies acted like true ladies, taking care for all the kitchen work, serving doing their best to make the man feel comfortable, something that is still evident in less developed economy nations like India, Pakistan etc. This kind of woman attitude is very hard to be seen nowadays in almost all around the world, including Bulgaria, so salutes for the good Serb woman 🙂

Just like us Bulgarians, Serbs also have Rakia as a traditional alcoholic beverage. This time they had a Serbian tea (as they call it) a mixture of hot tea and good quality rakia 🙂 – I rarely drink alcohol these days but this "Serbian tea" I liked very much. Among the food, there was the traditional wrapped rice in cabbage leaves, peppers filled with rise, own baked loaf (pitka), some very delicious meal combining something like boiled potatoes with mushrooms and some vegetables inside looking a bit like the Bulgarian Banica.

It is like a Church tradition, here in the West Orthodox Churches, to eat together after the end of Holy Liturgy. In the Holy Trinity Church in Dobrich, sometimes we do this as well but  not every time like here in West. Eating together with the brothers and sisters from the Church makes the Church experience complete and is a symbolic continuation of communion after the true communion receiving the Holy Blood and Holy Flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ – the Eucharist.
 

Nativity of Christ (Christmas) in Orthodox Church 24-th against 25-th December and 6-th against 7-th January – Spreading good news of Christ birth twice

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Ancient icon of Nativity of Christ Mount Sinai 7-th 9-th-century Rojdestvo Hristovo pravoslavna ikona - celebrating feast twice double spreading the good news of Christ's birth

In Serbian and Russia and Jerusalem as well as Orthodox Church January 6th against 7th  eve is Nativity (The day in which we Orthodox Christians, celebrate The Incarnation (Birth) of Christ).

In the Orthodox Church, there are some Orthodox Churches who celebrate Nativity on 24th against 25-th December (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania etc.) and some who celebrate Nativity on 6-th against 7-th January (Russia, Jerusalem, Syria, Serbia, Ethiopia, Egypt  etc.) . The reason for this is some  autocephalous (nation wide) Orthodox Churches use the so called New dates Church calendar, and others are still using the Old Calendar. Nomatter that all Orthodox Churches are in eucharistic (sacramental) communion and celebrate Easter on one and same date. The feast of birth of Christ was known to be originally celebrated on 24-th against 25-th of December (but this was according to the previous dates calendar used in the world which was based on the moon phases). After whole the world accepted and use even till now the so called Gregorian Church calendar, which is said to be more mathematically precise some of the national Orthodox Churches, with the usual consent between all nation Orthodox Church Patriarchates decided to move the 24-th against 25-th December to be celebrated on 24 to 25-th eve to be more accurate with the world dates calendar used by all throughout the world. This same 24-th against 25-th of December according to the old world dates calendar which was used in most Christian countries before the Gregorian calendar become the de-facto standard for world calendar coincides with  6-th against 7-th December.

There was quite a talk going around between people who were for and against the 24-th and 25-th calendar, as in all Orthodox Churches until the 1950/60 Nativity of Christ was celebrated on 6-th against 7-th January. Now there are two camps of people in the one Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church, those for the new calendar and those against it.

Nativity of Christ Rojdesetvo hristovo Christmas 24-th against 25-th December and 6-th against 7th-January both correct and unifying the One Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church
Actually in practice following Christmas on both date is not incorrect, and it should be mentioned in very ancient times of the Church, Nativity of Christ was celebrated every-day as Church services were continuing 10 to 12 hours each day!!!! Thus in ancient Church, there was not a special day for a birthday of Christ, but it was known in the Church Christ for sure Christ was born in December, many saints (if not mistaken) including st. John of Chrysostom said 24-th eve is the correct date on which the most pure Mother of God Virgin Mary gave birth to our savior and Messiah (Christ).
 
No-matter about the date, even as situation now is where some Churches celebrate Christmas on 24th eve and some on 6th against 7th this should not be perceived as separation of the Church, but as point of unification and increasing of possibility of people to hear about the birth of the savior of us the sinful humanity. As the good news of Nativity is preached and heard by unbelievers and believers twice the year instead of just one, making the world remember twice about the moment in which we received the news for hope of redemption and salvation from the corruption of death that ruled over us before Christ's incarnation and salvation mission on earth.

How to link WordPress Post or Page Title to external URL website address

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I needed to link a new created WordPress Post to external web page address. So when one clicks over the created post he opens an external website.

I’ve googled around to see how this can be achieved and found ordpress external links plugin
I gave a go of the plugin, but pitily I couldn’t make it work. I decided to try some other methods and after some time I tried another approach. I used the HTML >a href=””< My Post Title </a> as a title and it appeared this simple method prooved working 😉

Here is a small screenshot, from wordpress Add New Post dialog

By the way the information online I’ve found on how this the external link creation for a Page or a Post is made was quite obscure and messy. i wonder why there is no clear explanation on the direct a href link creation, especially since WordPress is a de-facto standard for a blogging platform and nowdays powers up so many websites engines around the world.

How to convert Ogg Video (.ogv) to Flash video (.flv) on Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

ffmpeg is the de-facto standard for Video conversion on Linux and BSD platforms. I was more than happy to find out that ffmpeg is capable of converting an .ogv file format to .flv (Flash compressed Video).
Ogg Vorbis Video to Flash’s conversion on Linux is a real piece of cake with ffmpeg .
Here is how to convert .ogv to .flv:

debian:~# ffmpeg -i ogg_vorbis_video_to_convert_.ogv converted_ogg_vorbis_video_to_flash_video.flv
...

Conversion of a 14MB ogg vorbis video to flv took 28 seconds, the newly produced converted_ogg_vorbis_video_to_flash_video.flv has been reduced to a size of 9MB. This is on a system with 2 GB of memory and dual core 1.8 Ghz intel CPU.