On 7 January 2015, the joyous feast day of the Nativity of the Lord - Christmas, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, officiated the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at the Cathedral church of Holy Archangel Michael in Belgrade.
The solemn feast day's service, besides a lot of faithful people, was also attended by President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic and Princess Katherine, First Vice President of the Government and Foreign Minister Mr. Ivica Dacic, Minister of Justice Mr. Nikola Selakovic, representatives of the state and city authorities, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade Mr. Stanislav Hocevar and representatives of traditional Churches and religious communities, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as people from cultural and public life of the Serbian capital.
The celebration of Christmas, the feast day of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, the most joyful event in the Christian world began at midnight with the first Christmas Liturgy, served by His Grace Bishop Arsenije of Toplica and in a prayerful presence of His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch.
Vicar of the Patriarch was concelebrated by the clergy of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac, with the presence of a lot of faithful people of the capital.
Christmas Eve was solemnly celebrated at the plateau in front of Saint Sava Memorial Cathedral on Vracar where, after the feast day's Vesper service which was served by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, the badnjak (Yule log) was burned in the presence of a lot of faithful people of the Serbian capital.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch officiated the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the Cathedral church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Belgrade on Christmas Eve, 6 January 2016.
Patriarch Irinej served this morning, according to the ancient tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church, the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great with the concelebration of the clergy of the Cathedral church.
The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2015
By the Grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:
Peace from God! Christ is Born!
"Sing to the Lord; bless His name;
Proclaim His salvation from day to day;
Declare His glory among the Gentiles,
His wonders among all peoples."
(Psalm 95 (96): 2-3)
With these words, dear brothers and sisters in Christ the Lord and our dear spiritual children, King David calls us to this Feast Day and to this festive celebration which the Lord Himself has prepared with His Birth from the Most Holy Virgin Mary in the Bethlehem cave. Two thousand years ago, the Most Holy Virgin Mary, together with the righteous Joseph, came to Bethlehem of Judea to be registered. Joseph's registering among his brothers and his kinsman served in the economy of salvation and in fulfilling the prophecy told by prophet Micah: "And you, O Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, though you are fewest in number among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the One to be ruler of Israel. His goings forth were from the beginning, even from everlasting." (Micah 5:1)
How can a womb contain Him whom nothing can contain?
How can He remain in His Father’s bosom, yet rest in His mother’s arms?
It is His good pleasure to accomplish this. . .
(Nativity Matinal Kathisma Hymn)
God in His Providence deigned, and it is truly according to His good will, that the birth of а child be a great source of joy. For all of us who anticipate that child, its birth evokes boundless love – tenderness – toward that newborn life! As such we celebrate the birth of Christ according to the flesh with hymns of praise and joyful songs. For His birth is the source and foundation of our salvation as He, God before all ages, is “born as a little Child”. Christ is born, beloved, glorify Him!