Catholicos-Patriarch Ilya II blessed the participants in the Christmas procession in the Georgian capital. He greeted the festive procession and distributed sweets and gifts, reports the website, Kavkazsky Udel.
Every year on the feast of the Nativity of Christ, in Georgia people take to the streets in order to take part in the procession called Alilo, bringing gifts for the needy.
Members of the clergy lead the procession bearing icons, crosses and banners, while the laity follow behind them either on foot, or in bull-drawn carts. Children play one of the leading roles in this Christmas procession.
Your Eminences the archpastors, honourable fathers,
God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
On this radiant and joyful feast of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ I cordially greet you all, my dear ones. On this light-bearing night together we prayerfully echo the doxology of the angels, proclaiming ‘great joy to all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour’ (Lk 2:10-11).
Humanity, which rejected God in the fall, discovers anew the chance to be united with its Creator and Provider. The coming of the Son of God into the world is his voluntary self-abnegation, ready to descend to a tortuous and shameful ‘death – even death on the cross’ (Phil 2:8). God is born in the flesh so that he may manifest his love to people and help every person willing to listen to his call to find the fullness of life.
The construction of a Russian Orthodox culture and religious center in Paris will soon be started, Russian presidential property manager Vladimir Kozhin said.
"A contract has already been signed with the company Bouygues, which will build the center. The work with the drawings is under way now. The construction itself will begin after the New Year's," Kozhin said in an interview with Interfax.
A project presented by Manuel Yanovski's Society of Architects and Developers (SADE, France) and Moscow-based Arch Group won the tender for building the Orthodox center in Paris.
The Patriarch of Romania Celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral on the First Day of the New Year3. January 2012 - 12:41
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 Christ3. January 2012 - 8:40
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.