Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

13 January 2016. Tomorrow is the “Old” New Year!

00 To the Old New Year! Russia 130116

To the Old New Year!

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Tomorrow, 14 January, is the Old New Year. No, that’s not a contradiction in terms… it’s 1 January on the Julian Calendar. Therefore, for some Russians, it’s time for ROUND TWO of New Year’s celebrations! We’re in the midst of the Svyatki between Christmas and Epiphany (which is next Tuesday, 19 January). It’s a time to feast, feast, feast… and I, Tyotya Vara, will carve the roast beast!

Pass the jug and cheer… did you really need an excuse to do that?

BMD

Monday, 12 January 2015

12 January 2015. The Russian Holiday Season is Still Goin’ Strong!

00 Sergei Yolkin. Holiday Week, Work Year... 2013

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Today, Monday 12 January, will be the first day back to work for most Russians after the New Year Holiday Break. Therefore, if you read anything in the Western Corporate Media about supposed rules taking effect in Russia… well, there was no one in the offices to put them into effect! What can you say of people so dense and idiotic that they didn’t know that all of Russia was on holiday and that no one was in any office processing ANY applications for ANYTHING? As you well know, it takes awhile to get back up to speed… so, take some reports with a BLOCK of salt.

Even though people are going back to work, the holiday season isn’t over yet. It starts with St Nicholas Day on 19 December and it ends with Theophany on 19 January. Mind you, in Old Russian peasant culture, the holidays began with the three feastdays of Ss Barbara, Sava, and Nicholas… 4-5 December OS, 17-19 December on the Gregorian calendar. This ushered in the holidays, with Christmas on 25 December OS, New Year on 1 January OS, and Epiphany on 6 January OS (the Svyatki, or “Holy Days” are the period between Christmas and Epiphany, party time after fasting time)… a bit longer than the contemporary celebration. Some country areas still begin with Vavarin Dyen… but not many. Today, some even keep “Old New Year” on 14 January, but these are people who don’t keep the secular celebration on 1 January.

So… the holidays in Russia are going to continue for another week (but folks will be going back to work today)… if you will, pass me the selyodka pod shuboi… I’ll have seconds, if you please…

BMD

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas in Saint Clair PA

russian orthodox bellringers

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On Wednesday, it was a white Christmas for those who celebrated the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ at St Michael the Archangel Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Saint Clair PA. The snow that fell on Christmas Eve provided a beautiful scene for the actual holy day. Families and individuals came to the church in the morning with the temperature at about 15 degrees and snow blowing from roofs and along streets. About 70 people who attended the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom on Orthodox Christmas; they wouldn’t have missed it for cold weather or snow to be part of celebrating the birthday of Jesus. Whilst Christmas is 25 December according to the Gregorian calendar, St Michael parish, which follows the Julian calendar, celebrates the holy day on 7 January. The church is part of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA.

One could hear “Merry Christmas” from time to time, but many people gave the traditional Orthodox greeting of “Christ is born!” or “Christos Razhdayetsya!”, with a joyful response of “Glorify Him!” or “Slavite Yego!” Members of the St Michael Choir led by dirigent Barbara Verbitsky sang hymns in English and Rusin before the Divine Liturgy. The choir also chanted many of the responses throughout the liturgy, which they sung “a cappella”, without musical instruments. Fr Jeff L Zias, pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy. At the start of the liturgy, Zias incensed the ikonostas, or icon screen, then, walked down the centre aisle, incensing the congregation. At the back of the nave, he incensed the icons of Christ Pankrator, Mary the Godbearer, and St Michael the Archangel, the patron of the parish.

According to Orthodox teaching, the birth of Jesus is of tremendous importance to eternal salvation, because through his birth, God gave us the food of life eternal, which is his body and blood under the forms of bread and wine in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. They give very little importance to the exchange of gifts or to any commercial thought. Orthodox Christians rejoice on Christmas Day because Christ is in their midst, a newborn child with outstretched arms begs for his love, and he returns this love in his God, his neighbour, his family, and to his country.

After the Epistle reading from the Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 4.4-7 and the Gospel reading from Matthew 2.1-12, Fr Jeff gave a sermon, which was the Archpastoral Letter for the Nativity by Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, Primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ was incarnated from the Virgin Mary for us humans and for our salvation. This salvation is boundless and is offered to us on a daily basis. As we continue to face difficult times and circumstances in the whole world and in our personal lives, let us embrace with our whole hearts the happiness that the Lord offers us at this special Nativity season. Let us love Him as our Saviour and let us love our neighbours as our brothers and sisters. With Jesus Christ in our hearts, the difficulties and troubles, no matter how great, do not have the power to disappoint us because He fills us overwhelming with joy. When we are tested by temptations and encounter sadness in our lives, let us remember that these trials merely make us stronger and more faithful. Let us always remember that God never abandons us. Today, God is revealed to us as a small child in the manger. This child may look weak and fragile, but it has enough love to cure each and every one of us of all our ills. Let us invite this child into our lives in order to transform our entire existence. May all of us, priests, panis, deacons, subdeacons, readers, parish officers, parishioners, friends and supporters of the God-protected American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, experience the joy and wonders of the shepherds and the awe and respect of the three wise men at the arrival of the Messiah, our new born King. Christ is Born! Glorify Him!”

8 January 2915

John E Usalis

Pottsville (PA) Republican Herald

http://republicanherald.com/news/orthodox-christians-celebrate-christmas-1.1814119

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

RT Presents… Orthodox Christmas Celebrations in Russia and Abroad

00 global orthodox christmas 01. 07.01.15Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias gave the traditional Christmas address to believers at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF on 6 January

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00 global orthodox christmas 02. 07.01.15

Believers gathered for Christmas Eve services at the Church of the Nativity in Krasnoyarsk (Krasnoyarsk Krai. Siberian Federal District) RF

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00 global orthodox christmas 03. 07.01.15

Christmas Day in Russia marks the birth of Jesus Christ according to Orthodox Christian Orthodox tradition

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00 global orthodox christmas 04. 07.01.15

Serbian believers took part in a ceremonial burning of the badnjak (dried oak branches), a Yule log symbol for Orthodox Christmas Eve, in front of a church in Smederevo, some 60 kilometres east of Belgrade, on 6 January 2015

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00 global orthodox christmas 05. 07.01.15

The vast majority of people in Georgia are Orthodox Christians. Early on 7 January, Georgian Orthodox believers went to Christmas services at Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi

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Songs play an important role in Christmas traditions, and Georgian Christmas carols have a spirit of beauty and dignity

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00 global orthodox christmas 07. 07.01.15

Christmas is a major holy day in the Orthodox world; in Cairo, Coptic Pope Tawadros blessed the communion bread during Christmas Eve services at St Mark Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

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00 global orthodox christmas 08. 07.01.15

The total number of Orthodox Christians around the world is about 300 million… Bosnian Serb Orthodox Hieromonk Andrej Kovacevic prayed on the eve of Orthodox Christmas in Sokolica Church, in Ravna Romanija, on 6 January 2015

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00 global orthodox christmas 09. 07.01.15

Greek Orthodox clergy waiting for the arrival of the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos before the Eastern Orthodox Christmas procession outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, 6 January 2015

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7 January 2015

RT

http://rt.com/in-vision/christmas/

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