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Russian Orthodox Christmas message

Russian Orthodox Christmas message

Photo: Marianne Ejdersten/WCC

08 January 2019

Orthodox Christians in central and eastern Europe and other parts of the world celebrated Christmas on 6-7 January. The WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, Deputy General Secretary Fr Ioan Sauca and and H E Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic from the Holy See attended the Holy Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ at the Russian Orthodox church in Geneva on 7th January. The Orthodox liturgy was led by Fr. Mikhail Goundiaev, Representative of the Moscow Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches and International organizations in Geneva.

Patriarch Kirill, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, delivered a Christmas message on 5 January 2019 and it was read at the service by Fr Mikhail. “From the depths of my heart I congratulate you all on the great and world-saving feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Kirill said.

Our hearts find comfort and are filled with thanksgiving, continued Kirill. “Throughout history humankind has assiduously sought out God, longing for the lost communion with its Maker,” said Kirill. “And in response to these endeavours, in response to hearts and hands raised up towards the heavens, the Lord has manifested his love for the human race and has extended towards us his saving hand.”

Kirill also spoke of the unfathomable wisdom of God. “Let us bow down with the fear of God and trembling, for it is here that there begins the earthly way of the cross of the Lord Jesus, it is here that our salvation begins,” he said. “The holy fathers are unanimous in stating that the work of Christ’s peace in a human being is a true sign of his abiding in the Gospel commandments.”

 

Christmas message by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

Member churches in Russia