Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas as a Symbol of Hope and Renewal

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Orthodox believers in Russia and various other nations are coming together to celebrate Christmas on January 6-7. This joyous occasion marks the beginning of a new chapter in human history, dating back 2,024 years. The festivities follow a four-week period of fasting, during which Christians reflect on their sins and partake in communion.

On Christmas Eve, a special fasting tradition takes place known as "until the first star." It pays homage to the Three Wise Men who followed a star to the birthplace of Jesus. The lighting of a candle in front of the altar, done at the end of the Christmas Eve service, symbolizes the guiding star.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led the Christmas Eve liturgy at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. He urged believers to spread the joy of Christmas and to show love and care to those in need. Patriarch Kirill emphasized that through love, even the coldest hearts can be healed, restoring harmony to society.

This year, an iconic masterpiece, Andrey Rublev's Holy Trinity icon, was displayed at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. This renowned work of Russian icon painting holds great significance and is believed to have been created for the Trinity Monastery.

The Christmas service serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of God's grace. It is a time for individuals and families to embrace the opportunity for spiritual growth and acceptance of divine gifts.

Beyond Russia, Orthodox Christians in Serbia, Jerusalem, Georgia, and the monastic community of Mount Athos in Greece also celebrate Christmas on January 7. This shared tradition unites Orthodox believers worldwide, reinforcing their faith and sense of communal solidarity.

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