Posts Tagged ‘Merry Christmas’

Russians Celebrate Christmas / Why some Orthodox Christians celebrate Nativity ( Christmas ) on 7th of January

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

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rojdestvo_Iisusa_Hrista_17th-vek-srpska-ikona

Merry Christmas to all Eastern Orthodox Christians!

I wish to all my Russian blog readers Christ's blessings, Wisdom of the 3 Wise man following the star. Humility of Christ for being born in a Cave and love of Mother of God Virgin Mary and Joseph to the incarnated Lord in flesh, Joy of the universe for the Universe rejoiced seing the birth of the savior of us sinful humans!

On 7th of January, the day on which biggest part of Eastern Orthodox Church,- Russian Orthodox Church along with Ukrainian, Macedonian, Croation, Serbian Arabic and part of Greek orthodox Church and Holy Mount Athos celebrate the day of Christ's birth. The original place where the Lord Jesus Christ was born as we read in the Gospels isBethlehemAccording to Church tradition on top of the Cave (known as Grotto) where the savior was born a Church basilica was built around year 333 A.D..

church of nativity bethlehem nowadays palestine - Jesus Christ birth place

The first Church building on top of Nativity Cave begun by Saint Helena, the mother of saint Emperor Constantine.

the_cave_of_nativity-where-Christ-was-born

The Basilica was destroyed a couple of times throughout the 3th, 4th, 5th, 10-th , 14-th and 18-th centuries in attempt to wipe out memory for Christ's birth and futile attempt of early times Roman emperors to destroy christianity.
Today Bethlehem Church is situated on Palestinian territories and place for pilgrimage of both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians. Its
interior is a very interesting mixture of a classic Orthodox Christian and a Roman Catholic basillica.

Church of the Holy Nativity Christs birth place Bethlehem

There is plenty of confusion and misunderstanding on the topic why bigger part of Christians worldwide celebrate Christmas on 24th against 25th of December and why more than half of Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate on 6th against of 7th of January?

In fact it is interesting fact that in the early Christian one holy apostolic Church, Christmas and Eastern was celebrated many times as this two feasts since beginning of the Church are center of Christian faith. In later times, when Church was already formed as an Eastern and Western Church, there are Church canons on exact date to celebrate Christmas and Eastern following the Julian Calendar (introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC). In later times with development of Science it was found that this calendar was not so precise and another Church calendar was introduced in y. 1582 by Roman Catholic pope GregoryXVIII (Gregorian Calendar named after pope). I will not get into details but from modern science Astronomical point of view Gregorian calendar is more scientifically correct. The Gregorian calendar quickly become in secular life because of its mathematical precision. And by Western Roman Catholic church Influence and desire to be more scientifically correct parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church partly accepted use of the Gregorian Calendar for counting the Church feasts. Because of that many of the feasts in those Eastern Orthodox Churches moved in forward with 13 days like the Romanian and Bulgarian Orthodox Church. However due to Church canon part of the feasts in Eastern Church can't be celebrated according to the Gregorian Calendar dates. Most important feast dates is the Resurrection day (Eastern), which according to Orthodox Church rule has always to be one week after the Jewish Pascha. There are plenty of problems that emerged due to change of acceptance of reformed Church calendar in part of the Eastern Orthodox Church, however what is most important is that the difference doesn't separate Orthodox Christian it just gives us reason to celebrate feast twice 🙂

Merry Christmas from Pomorie Monastery and a small monastic fire that ended well

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

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chestito-rojdestvo-hristovo-merry-Christmas-a-monastery-fire-stopped-by-Gods-grace

I spend the Christmas eve for a first time in Monastery with the brotherhood in Pomorie monastery. The night on 24-th against 25-th when Christmas is celebrated in Bulgaria was marked by the usual morning service and a Holy Liturgy. Silent Night Holy Night song was sung in the Church near the end of the Holy Liturgy.

All went well except small fire incident, out of a suddenr right after the end of the Church service a fire ignited  in one of the monastery store rooms. Actually it was a huge miracle that the fire didn't spread in whole monastic cell buildings as the fire used to be active without anyone noticing it for about 6 hours or so. The restult of fire was that  just one room full of sheets and sanitary equipment burn out completely. The fire happened in a room nearby my room on second stage one stage lower (on first floor). The fire brigade come quickly and stashed the fireplace without serious troubles.

The fire would have quickly spread if in the burning room if only one of the water tubes didn't break up pouring water inside on the burning stuff. The fire emerged around 12:40 and was already еxtinguished for less than hour. Thanks God there was no one in the burning room and no victims  Another sure miracle is that today weather is very calm no wind blowing so fire didn't ignited in a quick pace and was easily extinguished.  

Below are the immersly beautiful Christmas Church Troparion, Kontaktion and Feast singings as translated to English

Thy nativity, O Christ our God,
has shown to the world the light of wisdom;
for by it, those who worshipped the stars
were taught by a star to adore Thee
the Sun of Righteousness,
and to know Thee, the Orient from on high.
O Lord, glory to Thee."

Today the virgin, gives birth to the incomprehensible One;
and the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable One;
Angels and shepherds glorify Him;
the Wisemen journey with a star;
since for our sakes is born the ETERNAL GOD, as a little Child.

Christ is born, glorify him.
Christ is from heaven, go to meet him.
Christ is an earth, be ye lifted up.
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing out with gladness, all ye people.
For he is glorified.

To the Son begotten of the Father
without change before the ages,
and in these last times without seed made flesh from a Virgin,
to Christ God let us cry aloud:
Thou hast exalted our horn. Holy are Thou, O Lord!'

Rod of the root of Jesse,  and flower that blossomed from his stem, O Christ,
Thou hast sprung from the Virgin.
From the Mountain overshadowed by the forest
Thou hast come, made flesh from her that knew not wedlock,
O God who art not formed from matter.
Glory to Thy power, O Lord.

As Thou art God of peace and Father of mercies,
Thou hast sent us Thy Angel of great counsel,
Who grants us peace;
so we are guided by the knowledge of God,
watching before dawn we glorify Thee, only Lover of mankind'.

The monster from the deep
spat Jonas from its bowels like a new born babe,
just as it had received him;
while the Word having dwelt in the Virgin and taken flesh,
came forth, yet kept her incorrupt,
for being himself not subject to decay,
he preserved his mother free from harm'.

The Youths brought up together in godliness,
scorning the impious decree,
feared not the threat of fire,
but standing in the midst of the flame they sang:
God of our Fathers, blessed are Thou!

The furnace moist with dew was the image and the figure of a wonder past nature;
for it did not burn those it had received;
even as the fire of the Godhead
did not consume the Virgin's womb into which it has descended.
Therefore in praise let us sing:
Let all creation bless the Lord,
and highly exalt Him to all the ages.

Magnify, O my soul, the most glorious Theotokos,
more honourable and more glorious than the hosts on high.
'I behold a strange and wonderful mystery,
heaven is the Cave, the Cherubim thrown — Virgin,
the Manger the Place in which Christ lay,
the God whom nothing can contain. Whom we praise and magnify.

I wish to my dear readers have a great and blessed Christmas Holiday time, let Christ's love, peace and mercies are abundant in your hearts!

Happy Christ’s Birth! Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

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Christ's Birth Orthodox icon, Merry Christmas

Christ has born! Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all my readers!

The meaning of Merry Christmas comes from Christ Mass , the word has changed to (Christmas) through the years.
The origins of the word comes from the western world and especially has a tight relatin with Latin language and the Roman Catholic Church.

In Eastern Orthodox Churches, we say Chestit Rojdestvo Hristovo , which translated to English is Happy Christ's Birth by this tring to put more accent on the real significance of the feast, which is Christ's birth.
It's a pity nowdays many people forgot the real meaning of Merry Christmas but just celebrate without really realizing the deep spiritual meaning this two beautiful words contain.
Our Bulgarian Orthodox Church will mark the Christ's birth with a Holy Liturgy early in Sunday's morning tomorrow 25th of December.

With these bright feast I wish to all my blog readers;
A lot of Best of Health, Good Fortune, Loving Kindness, Hope, Faith, Love and Personal and Professional Success!
May God bring in our hearts the Angels joy which saluted our Saviour Jesus Christ's birth 2011 years ago.

Have a great Christmas!
 

Merry Russian and Serbian Christmas – The Russian Church Service feast in Nijmegen!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes
Orthodox Church Nijmegen Holy relics of Patriarch Tikhon of Russian and Moscow and relics from St. Seraphim Sarovski and 3 more other russian saints
It’s 9th and it’s the 3rd day of the Russian and Serbian Christmas as well as Christmas for all those Orthodox Churches and monasteries, who still observe the old orthodox calendar / (star stil)

I’m just coming back from the Orthodox Church service in Nijmegen .
The Church service was great, the Father there Father Sergius is a priest for almost 30 years and is a really gracious and gentle priest!

After the Church service it is common that the Church community gathers together in the kitchen room (a small room in the church), where we had a dinner, tea and coffee together.
I should say the Church community is really tight, mainly constituted of Russians and Ukrainians but there are also quite of Dutch people who by God’s grace found the true church of Christ and thus converted to Orthodox Christians.
It’s really amazing to see a western people with a profound interest and dedication in Orthodoxy and in Eastern Church life! This is definitely a miracle of God!

After the Church service, one of the choire members lady had organized a Russian like Children festival to celebrate Christmas and the Russian New Year.

There was some children games organized for the children. After some of the games in which children had to do some kid games. Snegurochka and Det Moroz had entered the Church as a great delight for the children.

It’s interesting to say that in Bulgaria we also have Snegurochka that we call Snezhanka and Det Moroz which in Bulgarian is Dqdo Mraz

This kind of children feast and a way to complete the 3 days Christmas festival in which we celebrate the unexplainable mystery of our Saviour Jesus’s Christ incarnation had added up to the great joy of the Church service as well as bring back some old memories of my youth where in the Kinder Garden when I was a kid we used to also await and receive the two dear guests, the old man Dqdo Mraz and his assistans Snehznka 🙂

After the children performed some singing dancing and children exercises as well as had some songs and dances together with Det Moroz and Snezhanka it was time for the end part of the feast which is the recital of children rhymes and christmas songs.
Since there were mostly Russian kids there, most of the children performances was in Russian, however there were few Dutch kids so there was some recitals and singing in Dutch and even in English! 🙂

As Det Moroz was very pleased with the great acting of the youngsters he brought in the two sacks packed up with kid presents and after each children performance, he gave a present to the kid.
The kids were completely shining as a result since they were rewarded for their parcipation in the feast and had some photos with Det Moroz and Snezhanka 🙂

After the whole celebrations were over, we the people who left in the Church went in the church kitchen and had a wonderful table full of delicious foods and drinks, some of which were traditional Christmas Russian meals including my favourite’s Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

I had some very nice chats with some of the church members in the mean time and after the great meal together we cleaned up the Church, asked Father Sergii for a blessing and each one of the church brothers and sisters headed back home.

As a matter of fact since I’ve started talking about the Russian Orthodox Church in Nijmegen, maybe it will be nice to mention that the Church Bulding is actually an Byzantine Chapel taken from Roman Catholics, so the Church didn’t really have a classical Orthodox Church architecture, however this is not a problem at all since everything within the Church icons, iconostasis, alter wall , icons etc. are Russian and serbian Orthodox icons.
The alter was also reconstructed in order to be suitable with the Church requirements for an Orthodox Church alter, it’s interesting fact that the man who sells candles and does a lot of the Russian Church minor maintenance is a Bulgarian just like me 🙂

Currently the Orthodox Russian Church in Nijmegen had church services every two weeks (9th January, 23 January, 6th February etc.)

Although I should say that in the Church building the Serbians had their Orthodox Church service every two weeks also, which means that the Serbs has their Orthodox Church services in the same Church in Nijmegen on (16,30 ,13 of January etc.)

Therefore there is an Orthodox Church service every week in Nijmegen by God’s mercy where services alternate with each other, one week is Russian Orthodox Church and one week is the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Hope this info is helpful to somebody!
Again Merry Russian and Serbian Christmas! Cheers!