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The holy foot washing ceremony in the Orthodox Church is observed on Holy and Great Thursday (Maundy Thursday), which will occur on Thursday May 2, 2013. The holy service of foot washing is a piouis ceremony normally performed by a Metropolitan Bishop or an Abbot in Eastern Orthodox Churches. During the service Bishop washes the feet of twelve priests and the abbot performs the ceremony with twelve members of his brotherhood in his monastery. This ceremony occurs towards the end of the Divine Liturgy.
Depiction of the Orthodox Foot Washing Ceremony on Maundy Thursday; courtesy George Alexander
Immediately following Holy Communion, the priest or the brotherhood member's willl move in a procession to the spot where the ceremony will take place, usually in the center of the nave, in the narthex, or a location outside. Psalms, hymns, litany are recited and the prayer is read by the bishop or abbot. St Johns chapter is then read by the The deacon reads from St. Johns but stops where the dialogue between Jesus and Peter begins. Senior ranking clergy will speak the words of St Peter whereas then words of Jesus Christ will be spoken by the
In an effort to showcase the diversity and beauty of Easter, the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) in cooperation with OrthPhoto.net is organizing a photo contest. Easter is considered the most important feast within Orthodox Church and the contest is designed to promote the beauty of the feast of Pascha and how it is celebrated throughout the Orthodox cultures.
Topic of the contest is "Easter in Christian East".
Photos from the Great Lent, Holy week, Palm Sunday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost can be used and must be submitted between the 1st of February and 1st of June 2013.
Prizes include: 1st Prize (1200€), 2nd Prize (800€) and the 3rd prize (500€).
Winners will be announced and rewarded at the Anniversary of the 20th I.A.O. General Assembly in Athens, end of June 2013.
More information about the contest and how to participate is available on the webpage: www.eiao.orthphoto.net
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George Alexander is the Secretary and Spokesperson for the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE. For more information visit www.theorthodoxchurch.info
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 tit
Over 1.5 billion Christians in the world celebrate Christmas, the holiday that commemorates the the birth of Jesus Christ, though they do not all celebrate it on the same day. Western Christians will celebrate Christmas on December 25 while the Eastern Christians celebrate the holiday on January 6.
Bethlehem is generally considered the pinnacle destination for a holy Christmas celebration, however, if you can't make it the Holy Land and want to experience Christmas along the lines of Orthodox celebrations there are several other places in the world where Orthodox nativity is enjoyed with much reverence and charm. Below is our top 10 listing of travel destinations for an Orthodox Christmas.
Holy Land: Traveling to the Holy land is the top interest of any Christian interested in experiencing an authentic spiritual pilgrimage and nativity liturgy. For most traveling to the Holy Land is a dream come true and does not need further explanation. A Holy land pilgrimage offers a unique opportunity to celebrate Christmas on a day not celebrated anywhere else in the world. The 2,100 members of the Armenian community in Israel are the only community in the world that celebrates Christmas according to the Julian calendar and
The Armenians Orthodox are the oldest Christian community in the in Holy land and date backs to the very early Christian period prior to the conversion of Armenian King Tirdard III in the year 301 A.D. In the year 254 A.D. Bishops of the Armenian Church, along with Prelates of Greek Orthodox Churches in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Egypt were actively involved in discovering and confirming the places related to the holy ministry of Jesus Christ and made all necessary arrangements to preserve these historic sites. The Armenians also showed great enthusiasm in discovering and restoring relic of the true cross.
The Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusa
The Monastery Compound which held the Tree of Jesus Cross
The Monastery of the Cross is a Georgian Orthodox Monastery situated in th Holy Land. This monastery is situated near the Nahlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem, and located at the Valley of the Cross, below the Israel Museum and the Knesset.
History of the Georgian Greek Monastery
The Monastery was built in the 11th century by Georgian Giorgi-Prokhore of Shavsheti. during the rule of King Bagrat IV. The place where monastery is situated was granted by Constantine the Great,to king Mirian III of Kartli after the conversion of his kingdom to Christianity in 327 A.D. The place was originally consecrated in 4th century as per the instruction of Constantine the Great. It is believed that the monastery is constructed at the burial place of Adams head even though two other places claim to be the location. The tree from which the cross which Jesus Christ was crucified was taken from this place.
The Monastery was sold to Greece in 1885 due to heavy debt an is presently under the ownership of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The Monastery has a library which holds several Georgian manuscripts. Some of the survived manuscripts are preserved in Mount Sinai, Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Saint Petersburg, Vienna, Paris, London and Washington.
Tree for Jesus Cross
The Dormition of the most holy Theotokos is one of the important feasts in Orthodox Christianity. It is indeed a great feast which depicts ‘falling asleep' of the Mother of God and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. This feast is celebrated with much significance and importance among Eastern and Oriental Orthodox families.
Mother Mary or the holy Theotokos occupies the most important place in the Orthodox Church next to that of Jesus Christ.
The feast of Dormition is celebrated by two weeks of fasting, known as the Dormition fast beginning from 1st of August to the 15th of August. The fasting is quite strict in nature. Believers abstain from red meat, poultry, meat products, dairy products (eggs and milk products), fish, oil, and wine.
In some places and Churches weekday services during the fast are similar to that of the Great Lent. The Russian Orthodox Church performs Lenten services on at least the first day of the Dormition Fast. The Great Paraklesis (Supplicatory Canon) or the Small Paraklesis are celebrated every evening except Saturday evening and on the eves of the Transfiguration and the Dormition.
The first day of the Dormition fast is called ‘Procession of the Cross' and on this day crucession (Cross procession) and perform the Lesser Sanctification of Water is performed (holy water used by Priest for baptism and other blessings). In S
Paschal or Easter feast is season of hope, joy and happiness. It is the celebration of God's resurrection. It is the most important festival of Orthodox Christians like Annunciation. Pascha is also a great holiday in Orthodox countries. The celebrations of Easter or Pasca are combined with local traditions and customs. It differs from palaces to place.
Christ is Risen! He is Indeed Risen!!!
Христос воскрес! Воістину воскрес!
Chrystos voskres! Voistynu voskres!
The Ukrrine has a rich Orthodox history and tradition and as a result, there are certain Paschal practices in the Ukraine that are quite interesting to note. There are three major Orthodox Churches namely Ukraine Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).
"Do not be afraid, Mary," the Angel Gabriel said, as he appeared before the young woman, "for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the House of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." (St. Luke 1:30-33)
The holy feast of Annunciation in Orthodox Church begins on March 25, 2012, (on the 24th for Latin Catholics) and is celebrated with great reverence and joy by Christians. Annunciation is the pious occasion of the proclamation of the good news to the holy Theotokos (also known as Mary, Mother of God) and thereby to the whole universe, is one of the greatest feasts in the Orthodox Church. It marks the beginning of the entrance of Jesus Christ to the human world. St Mary or Holy Theotokos occupies preeminent position among all others saints in Orthodox Church. This title was affirmed by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in A.D 431 and there by establishing it into daily life of the Church.
Prostration is a vital part of the Great Lent and Holy Week, but full prostration is traditionally discouraged on the Lord's Day (Sunday), during Paschaltide (Easter season) and on Great Feasts of the Lord. Prostration is also made by Orthodox Christians in front of their Bishop/Metropolitan, their spiritual fathers or even one another asking forgiveness, without the sign of cross, since it is not an act of divine worship. Those who are physically unable to make full prostrations are allowed to bows at the waist. Prostration is practiced by Orthodox Christians at their home during the prayers.
Oriental Orthodox has prostrations as part of the great Lenten practices. Syrian and Indian Orthodox Christians prostrate during all daily prayers, except on days which the Holy Liturgy is celebrated. For more on Prostration click here.
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George Alexander writes regularly for Travelujah on Orthodox Christianity. He is the spokesperson of the Orthodox Cognate PAGE and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org