Christmas was celebrated again in Bethlehem on Thursday (6 January)...this time by the Greek Orthodox?
Christmas was celebrated again in Bethlehem on Thursday (6 January)...this time by the Greek Orthodox community in the city on the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The observances began with a patriarchal procession from the Old City of Jerusalem to Bethlehem's Manager Square. Because of the ill-health of Patriarch Benedictus I, the procession was led by Archbishop Germanos.
On Thursday night, the Greek Orthodox Midnight Mass was celebrated in the Church of Nativity...again with Archbishop Germanos. A number of dignitaries attended the service, among them Jerusalem's Mayor, Mr. Teddy Kollek.
SYNOPSIS: On Thursday, Christmas was again celebrated in the historic city of Jerusalem... this time, by the Greek Orthodox Community. The observances in the city on the Israeli-occupied West Bank began with a patriarchal procession from the Old City of Jerusalem to Bethlehem's Manger Square. The procession was led by Archbishop Germanos, because of the ill-health of Patriarch Benedictus the Fist. A number of dignitaries were on hand in Manger square to receive the procession...among them the city's Mayor and the district's military and police commanders.
The observances were to continue that night with a Midnight Mass celebrated in Bethlehem's Church of Nativity.
Archbishop Germanos officiated at the Mass...Hundreds of people attended the service, including the Greek Consul-General and Minister and Minister Plenipotentiary. A number of tourists were also there. The Archbishop began the service by blessing the congregation.
After a short service in front of the altar, the clergy--led by the Archbishop--moved into the Grotto. They then proceeded three times around the Catholicon. The remainder of the Mass was celebrated from the center of the Catholicon.
A number of high-ranking officials were present during the service...among them Jerusalem's Mayor Teddy Kollek and the military commander of the West Bank region, Tat-Aluf Vardi, Following the service from the Catholicon, ordinary prayers were said, led by the Archbishop.
There's to be yet another Christmas celebration in Bethlehem soon...this tim the Armenian community will be observing theirs.