[orthodox-synod] Vs: [KDN] Reuters Orthodox Church Heads Meet in Jerusalem for Christmas
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From: Snezana Lazovic <sila@...>
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Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2000 12:14 PM
Subject: [KDN] Reuters Orthodox Church Heads Meet in Jerusalem for Christmas
> Orthodox Church Heads Meet in Jerusalem for Christmas
> 02:38 p.m Jan 04, 2000 Eastern
> By Christine Hauser
> JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Church bells resounded
> through Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday as
> leaders of 14 Orthodox Churches staged an
> unprecedented gathering as part of their
> Christmas celebrations.
> ``It's a historical event because it's the first
> time that all the heads of the Orthodox
> Churches, the patriarchs, have gathered here
> together to celebrate Orthodox Christmas,'' said
> Uri Mor, a director in the Religious Affairs
> ``It's also a historical event because it's the
> beginning of the millennium and all of them came
> together in the Holy Land.''
> Under steady rain, 14 archbishops and
> patriarchs, in black robes and holding silver
> staffs, shuffled under wide umbrellas through
> the narrow cobblestone alleys of the Old City,
> sacred to the three monotheistic religions.
> Palestinians in marching band uniforms played
> drums and church bells rang as the procession
> wound its way to the Church of the Holy
> Sepulchre in the heart of the Old City.
> Merchants steadied their wares as the throng of
> somber pilgrims pressed against the narrow walls
> of the alleys, brushing against wind chimes,
> bottles of holy water and crowns of thorns
> selling for $2.
> Pilgrims cheered as the patriarchs arrived at the
> church, and joined them singing hymns in the
> high-domed, candlelit building located on the
> traditional site of Christ's crucifixion, burial and
> WATER AND CANDLES
> Inside the church, pilgrims reverently pressed
> bottles of holy water and candles to the slab of
> salmon-colored rock where they believe Jesus'
> body was anointed.
> ``This is the first time all the Orthodox Churches
> all over the world are celebrating the birth of
> Christ in this one place,'' said Bishop Meliton of
> The Orthodox churches of Constantinople,
> Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow,
> Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus,
> Athens, Poland, the Czech Republic and Albania
> were represented.
> The head of the Syrian Orthodox church did not
> attend for ''political reasons,'' a Jerusalem
> patriarchate official said.
> Israel and Syria, still officially at war with one
> another, were holding their second round of
> peace talks in the United States on Tuesday.
> On Thursday the church officials were to meet in
> the Palestinian-ruled town of Bethlehem for a
> Christmas mass due to be attended by
> Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and former
> Russian president Boris Yeltsin.
> The presidents of Romania, Belarus, Ukraine,
> Greece, Moldova and Cyprus were also
> scheduled to attend.
> Orthodox Christians observe Christmas on
> January 7, using the Julian calendar which
> differs by 13 days from the Gregorian calendar
> used by most Catholics and Protestants.
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