Orthodox Christians across the world are today celebrating Christmas.December 25 on the Julian calendar falls on January 7 on the Gregorian calendar.
Most Orthodox churches worldwide use the Julian calendar, created under the reign of Julius Caesar in 45 BC, and have not adopted the Gregorian calendar, proposed by Latin Pope Gregory of Rome in 1582.
In Russia, a solemn liturgy dedicated to the great feast of Christmas is organized at Christ the Savior Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. The service is conducted by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill.
Addressing Orthodox Christians before the start of a solemn service ,the Patriarch congratulated Christians on Christmas and wished them peace, prosperity and well-being.
“I congratulate you on the great feast of Christmas. I wish peace, prosperity and well-being to all of historical Rus, to the Russian state, to each and every one of you. May the grace of the Savior touch us not only on this wonderful Christmas night, but on all the days of our lives”, – said the Patriarch.
In Palestine a parade of clergy including Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III arrived at the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank town of Bethlehem the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ.Celebrations kicked off on January 6.