His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, received Mr. AleksanderChepurin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belgrade at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade on 29 November 2016.
During the audience, Ambassador Chepurin congratulated His Holiness a forthcoming joyful holiday of the Nativity of the Lord wishing him many fruitful years in his Patriarchal ministry. Patriarch Irinej thanked the Ambassador Chepurin for his attention and replied with warm greetings.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk celebrates rite of uniting to Orthodox Church for those temporarily fallen away29. Децембар 2016 - 9:37
On December 25, 2016, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers and day of commemoration of St. Spyridon of Tremithus, the Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk celebrated in the Moscow church of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Icon of the Mother of God the rite of union with the Orthodox Church for those who have temporarily fallen away from it, defecting into schism or sects.
About ten shells from the front line were fired December 23, 2016 in the city of Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. Shells of no less than a 150 mm caliber were used during the shelling, which are prohibited by the Minsk Accords.
One of the shells fell on the territory of the Alexander Nevsky Church. The Sunday School building was significantly damaged: one wall was fully destroyed, the rest partially. Thankfully there were no children in the building at the time. Windows in the church were broken, the façade was damaged by shrapnel, and the metal door was punctured. A new cupola lying on the ground was also damaged.
The birth of Christ represents God’s programme for the life of the world, for salvation or its release from sin and death and its leading to the eternal life of the Kingdom of Heaven, said the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Daniel, in his Christmas sermon.
The Father has acquiesced. The Word became flesh.
And the Virgin bore the Incarnate God.
The star calls. The Wise Men venerate.
Shepherds admire and the universe rejoices.
(Troparion of Christmas Hymns)
The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ celebrates today a “strange and paradoxical” mystery and this it proclaims “in great joy” across the world. The Church celebrates the extraordinary event that God the Father, Creator and Ruler of the universe, acting on extreme love and compassion, recreated and reshaped man impaired by sin, in the face of His Only-Begotten Son and Logos. “But when the set time had fully come” (Galatians 4,4) during the reign of Cesar Octavian August, the Son and Word of God was born in flesh, in Bethlehem, Judea, incarnate through the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary in Nazareth, Galilee. Jesus Christ, “though in the form of God, took the form a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phl. 2, 6-7). “Made of woman, made under the law, that we might receive adoption” (Galatians 4,4) and “become children of God” (John 1, 12).