Patriarch Theophilos urges not to celebrate Christmas in New Style

His Holiness Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem. Photo:

The Jerusalem Patriarchate reminded the flock that on December 25 (New Style), the Church celebrates the day of remembrance of St. Spyridon of Trimyphus.

The Primate of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, Patriarch Theophilos, urged not to celebrate the Nativity of Christ in the new style, reports the website of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

The message is addressed to the devout stewards and priests of parishes, the honourable presidents and members of the Local Councils and the laymen of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

The Patriarch emphasized that he addresses his flock in writing “to remind you once again, that the Christmas Feast, as the great Lord’s one, has been celebrated since antiquity with the befitting liturgical brilliance by our Patriarchate and the venerable Hagiotaphite Brotherhood on 25th December (old calendar) which corresponds to 7th January (new calendar), and our Christian congregation follows this rule".

The Primate of the Jerusalem Church called on the priests of his flock to “so that on the day of 12th December (old calendar), which corresponds to 25th December (new calendar) they open the Holy Churches and observe the service of our Father among the Saints Spyridon, Bishop of Trimythus the Wonderworker, which includes the Catavasiae and other pre-festal Christmas hymns, and not the service of Christmas day of 25th December; after the service of Matins the Divine Liturgy should be celebrated".

“As is well known, the adoption of the new calendar brought the Orthodox Church face to face with pastoral issues, which also have social implications, which we are called to face with a sense of responsibility,” the Patriarch noted.

He emphasized that on December 25, according to the new style, "after the observed service of the feast of Saint Spyridon, the members of the Greek Orthodox flock may proceed to demonstrations of a social but not ecclesiastical character".

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the OCU believes that those who support Russia celebrate Christmas in the Old Style.

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