The Patriarch of Romania Celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral on the First Day of the New Year

On 1 January, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Circumcision of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadochia, and the new civil year. His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral assisted by a group of priests and deacons in the presence of many faithful.

After reading the Evangelical pericope (Luke 2:20-21: 40:52), His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a sermon in which he emphasised the teaching rendered in the fragment: “The text of Luke we read today shows us that when 12 years old, Jesus went to the Temple together with the Mother of God and Righteous Joseph and on their way back, he remained at the Temple. They looked for Him for three days till they found Him, because they first thought that He had left together with other children to go back to Nazareth in Galilee. But He was not there, but in the Temple. So, the Gospel shows us that Jesus who was circumcised when 8 days old was growing, with the help of God’s grace, not only biologically, but also theologically. He was growing in wisdom, age and grace, namely in His relationship with God. This relation is very important because it shows us that rather often the spiritual growth is faster than the biological one”.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill greets the Heads of foreign states with the New Year and the Nativity of Christ

His Holiness Patriarch Krill of Moscow and All Russia sent greeted the heads of states of Orthodox tradition in far abroad with the Nativity of Christ. His Holiness congratulated President Boris Tadić of Serbia, President Filip Vujanović of Montenegro, President Gjorge Ivanov of Macedonia, President Georgi Parvanov of Bulgaria, President Traian Bǎsescu of Romania, President Karolos Papoulias of Greece and President Dimitris Christofias of Cyprus. The text is given below.

Dean of St. Vladimir's Assists in Rebuilding Kosovo and Metochia

Dean of St. Vladimir's Assists in Rebuilding Kosovo and Metochia

Dean of St. Vladimir's Academy, New York, Archpriest John Behr,  has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund, a non-profit organization committed to rebuilding church and social life in Kosovo. The relief fund sponsors myriad humanitarian projects, including the one hundred fifty-three Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries that have been destroyed in Kosovo and Metohija since 1998; to date, only three of these church institutions have been repaired, and the Decani Monastery Relief Fund has undertaken the ambitious task of restoring them.

Christmas Encyclical 2011 of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartolomew

+ B A R T H O L O M E W

By the Mercy of God
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

To the Plenitude of the Church
Grace, Peace and Mercy from our Savior Born in Bethlehem

“Christ is born again and the Angels sing once more:
‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will among all.’”

(Luke 2.14-15)

Beloved brothers and sisters, children in the Lord,

The angels chant these three majestic proclamations and yet the great majority of human beings, although celebrating the feast of Christmas, cannot perceive the significance of the angelic song, instead asking themselves whether God is truly glorified today or why God should even be glorified; where can one discern on earth the peace that is announced, and why should contemporary humanity live with good will?

Thousands enjoy merry Christmas in Bethlehem

Tens of thousands of tourists and Christian pilgrims packed the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations Saturday, bringing warm holiday cheer to the traditional birthplace of Jesus on a raw, breezy and rainy night.

With turnout at its highest in more than a decade, proud Palestinian officials said they were praying the celebrations would bring them closer to their dream of independence.