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.
On 31st December, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, received in his Private Patriarchal Office, as is usual, His Eminence Gabriel Metropolitan of Leontopolis, Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria together with the rest of the clergy of the Patriarchate and of the Holy Archdiocese of Alexandria, who sang carols and gave their festive wishes. He then heard carols and received wishes for the new year of salvation, 2014, from the African students of the “Agios Athansios” Patriarchal Academy of Alexandria; he also received the staff of the Patriarchate. To all of them His Beatitude gave gifts and blessings.
His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa was in Cairo for the holy days of Christmas, to conduct the festal spiritual and Liturgical events as is Patriarchal custom.
On the eve of the Great Feast, following the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude received at the Patriarchal Vicariate the Scouts of Cairo, who, headed by their District Commissioner Mr. Alekos Kazamias, sang traditional carols. Remembering the time when he too was a scout in Crete, His Beatitude congratulated the Scouts on their work, in which they celebrate their hundredth year this year, and gave them icons, commemorative gifts and a significant amount in aid towards their efforts.