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Holy Land Armenians Celebrate Christmas at Last
The Armenian Orthodox community in Holy Land celebrates Christmas, the Nativity of Jesus Christ on January 18th and on January 19th (Feast of the Epiphany) of January every year. They are the last ones to celebrate Christmas among any Christian communities. The Armenian Church in the Holy land uses old calendar which has a difference of twelve days.
Prayers and Celebrations
On January 17th, the Armenian Patriarch, His Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, his Priests and the faithful, travels from Mar Elias Monastery in Jerusalem to Bethlehem, where, according to local tradition, they will meet the city's new first ever female mayor, Vera Baboun, at Manger Square and then enter the Church of Nativity for the elaborate and colourful ceremonies.
The Patriarch makes his entry to the Church lead and honoured by the Armenian Scout procession, whereas Priests, Seminarians and the faithful sing Armenian hymns. Liturgy and serves inside the Church last until next day, January 18.
Armenian families dine pilaf and fish and attend Nativity Liturgy at Saint James church at the Saint James Convent in Jerusalem. The service so unique that the only light available is from the hanging oil lamps.
So you are never late to attend the Nativity of our Lord, pack your bags get ready for the Armenian Orthodox Christmas!!!
To learn more about the Armenian Celebration of Christmas read an article titled ‘Armenian Pilgrims Gather in Jerusalem to Celebrate Christmas'
Armenian Christmas Services
Basilica of the Nativity, Manger Square, Tel. 02-2742410
January 18th, 2013
11.00 Arrival of His Beatitudes the Armenian Patriarch on Manger Square
14.00 Entry in the Basilica of Nativity - Vespers and Christmas Eve Mass
22.00 Armenian Midnight Service, ends at 1.00 am
January 19th, 2013 (Feast of Epiphany begins)
1.00 Blessing of the Holy Water & Episcopal High Mass in the Grotto
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George Alexander is an expert on Orthodox Christianity and regular contributor to Travelujah-Holy Land Tours. He is the secretary and spokesperson for the the Orthodox Cognate PAGE. For more information please visit www.theorthodoxchurch.info
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