On Friday, the 26th of December 2015/8th of January 2016, the day after Christmas, the Synaxis of Theotokos, namely the gathering of the faithful in order to pay special tribute to Theotokos as contributor to God’s work for our salvation by bearing Christ by the Holy Spirit and lending her flesh to Him, was celebrated:
Hundreds of Greek Cypriot refugees from the Turkish occupied village of Argaki, in the Morphou area, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Saturday at their village church of St. John the Baptist for the first time since the village was occupied by Turkish troops during the invasion in 1974.
The mass was officiated by Bishop of Morphou Neophytos and organized by the Holy Bishopric of Morphou in cooperation with the Church Committee, the Community authority, the Argaki Cultural Group and “Olympus” Athletic Club of the occupied village.
Romania’s Orthodox Church wants to change the country’s Constitution so as not to allow same-sex marriages. The initiative was first launched by the Metropolitan of Banat Ioan Selejan, at the end of his Christmass Liturgy in Timisoara. Tens of people who went to the Theophany day service at the Metropolitan cathedral in Timisoara on January 6 queued to sign for this initiative, according to local media.
Two new Orthodox churches will open this year in Mys Shmidta (an urban area near the cape with the same name) and Wrangel Island in the Arctic, where units of the Eastern Military District are deployed, reports RIA-Novosti with reference to the Eastern Military District’s press service.
“The military churches in Mys Otto Shmidta and Wrangel Island will begin to receive the faithful by the end of 2016. The churches were assembled in the Ryazan region with funds provided by the Omofor Charitable Foundation for Support to Military Veterans and Invalids. The “mobile” churches have been delivered to the deployment site of military units of the Eastern Military District in the Arctic. The churches are currently being equipped with church furniture,” the message reads.
On Friday, the 26th of December 2015/8th of January 2016, the day after Christmas, the Synaxis of Theotokos was celebrated in the Village of the Shepherds, Beit-Sahour.
There is, in the town, a church dedicated to Theotokos, together with a chapel of the Holy Archangels and St Panteleimon the Great Martyr, founded by the late spiritual father of Hosios Savva Monastery, Archimandrite Seraphim the sanctified.
On 6th January 2016, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, together with His Grace Meletios, Bishop of Naucratis, Hegumen of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas in Alexandria, officiated at Orthros and conducted the Festive Divine Liturgy and the Service of the Great Blessing of Water, at the Holy Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Alexandria, in the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of Greece to Egypt, Mr. Christodoulos Lazaris, the Honourable Consul General of Greecce in Alexandria, Mr. Emm. Kakabelakis, representatives of the Hellenic Community, the Cypriot Brotherhood, Hellenic Associations and Societies of the Great City and many faithful Christians.