Russian Orthodox mission in Belfast has had its first Orthodox Communion service - known as the divine liturgy.
It was celebrated in Slavonic and English by Father George Zavershinsky, right, and Deacon Nikolai from the Moscow Patriarchate parish of St Peter & St Paul in Dublin.
The liturgy took place on Saturday, December 20, in the St George's church in the city centre, made available by the Church of Ireland.
Bulgarian delegation including Bishop Neofit, Transport Minister Petar Mutafchiev, MPs and diplomats from the Bulgarian mission in Istanbul, Turkey, has visited the two Orthodox Churches in Edirne - St. George and St. St. Constantine and Helena. Minister Mutafchiev was received by Universal Patriarch Bartholomew I. At the invitation of the council of Churchwardens, on Saturday Bishop Neofit would serve a Solemn Mass marking the 110th anniversary of the sanctifying of the St. Stefan temple in Istanbul.
TheGreek community in Belgrade has celebrated today the holiday of theNativity of Jesus Christ, after the new calendar. The Holy Liturgy, whichfather Panajotis served in a church of St. Gabriel The Archangel in Zemun withthe concelebration of Serbian priests and deacons, was attended by lots ofpeople, children and the young from Greece who study and work in the Serbiancapital.
The Holy Liturgy was also attended by the diplomatic personnel of the Embassy ofGreece in Belgrade headed by the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. ChristosPanagopoulos, who has celebrated today his Name day as well.
Renowned liturgist The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Robert F. Taft, S.J. will present the keynote address at an international academic symposium titled "The Past and Future of Liturgical Theology: Celebrating the Legacy of Father Alexander Schmemann," to be held at St. Vladimir's Seminary (SVS), from January 29-31, 2009.
The academic symposium, featuring preeminent theologians from Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant traditions from major universities, will honor The Very Rev. Alexander Schmemann (d. 1983), who served as dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary for more than twenty years. Fr. Schmemann is best known for his writings on liturgy and sacramental life, which have influenced all branches of Christianity, in the practice of worship as well as in the academic realm.
On the Feast of St. Herman of Alaska, December 13, 2008, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah visited the seminary campus to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and to preside at a panikhida (memorial) service in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the falling asleep of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, who served as the dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary (SVS) from 1962 until his death in 1983. His Beatitude, who was elected Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) this past November and who is an alumnus of SVS, recalled in his homily at the memorial service the influential words and works of Fr. Alexander.