The feast of Christmas, the ‘Metropolis of all feasts’ according to the Church Fathers, was celebrated by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem on Tuesday the 25th of December/7th of January 2014, in the city where our Lord Jesus Christ was born by flesh, namely Bethlehem, where lies the magnificent Constantinian Basilica.
The feast began from Monday night, at 22:30 pm, as entrance was made from the gate of the Baptistery and the Matins procession was led by the Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, His Eminence Demetrios, Archbishop of Lydda.
On Monday the 24th of December 2013/6th of January 2014, Christmas Eve was celebrated by the Patriarchate in Bethlehem in accordance with its ancient order.
In line with the approved schedule, at 9:00 am of the aforementioned day, His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, received the Israeli Police at the Patriarchate’s Hall on the occasion of the feast.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the birth place of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem yesterday and attended the Liturgy of the Christmas Eve at the Church of the Nativity.
First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa and Palestinian President Dr. Mahmoud Abbas also attended the Liturgy along with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem.
On 7th January 2014, after Grand Compline celebrated at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with a delegation from the Monastery of St. Paul on Mount Athos.
The delegation led by Archimandrite Parthenios (Murelatos), abbot of the monastery, brought the Gifts of the Magi to Moscow the day before.
For the first time in 100 years, there will be full liturgical bell-ringing for the Nativity at the Russian dependency in Hebron.
Hieromonk Alexy (Eliseev), the sacristan of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, has consecrated a new set of bells for the bell-tower of the Church of the Holy Forefathers in Hebron. This important event was a good completion to the church’s difficult centennial history, writes Pravoslavie.ru.