January 11, 2007

English Translation by Nina Tkachuk Dimas 

On the eve of the Nativity and on Nativity night, Beijing's Orthodox believers assembled for solemn divine services in "the Red Fangzi" - the oldest building (on the grounds) of the Embassy of the Russian Federation. Over eighty people came to pray on the radiant feast of Christ's Nativity — employees of Embassy of the Russian Federation with their families, compatriots living in Beijing, as well as Orthodox Christians from Ukraine, Belarus, the USA, France, Greece, Serbia and Macedonia. About half of the congregants went to confession and received communion. The Nativity message of Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia was read. The divine services in Beijing's Dormition Orthodox community were served by Archpriest Dionisy Pozdnyaev. On the evening of the Feast all believers were invited to share a common meal. Christmas gifts which were given to all visitors of the Fangzi during the meal brought great joy.

On January 7th, with consent of the authorities, Chinese Orthodox believers, who at present do not have their own temple in Beijing, assembled for Great Vespers in St Michael's [Roman] Catholic Church on Dongjiaominxiang Street in central Beijing. Because at present there are no Chinese Orthodox clergy in the Peoples' Republic of China, lay services are conducted. After the service the Chinese Orthodox faithful invited their co-religionists from Russia to a festal meal.

Nativity services were also held in Shanghai by Priest Alexy Kiselevich, and in Hong Kong by Hieromonk Melety (Sokolov). On the first and second days of the Nativity, divine service were also held in the home churches in Shenzhen and Guangzhou for Orthodox faithful living in the province of Guangdong.

On the afternoon of January 7th in the building of the club of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Beijing a "Yolka" Christmas party was organized by parishioners of the Orthodox community. Children from grades 7-11 of the embassy school presented "The Christmas Miracle", a scene narrating Christ's birth. Sunday school children from of Beijing's Orthodox community sang Christmas carols. About fifty kids with their parents attended the celebration. Children read Christmas and New Year's poems, participated in various games. All were given "delicious" gifts and stuffed toys. After the general fun, the children were invited to the festal table.

Having Yolka/Christmas parties on the territory of Embassy of the Russian Federation in China is becoming a good tradition. Festal preparations this year were primarily done by the Sunday school students of Beijing's Orthodox community, which has already been open three years. As of November of last year the Sunday school has an adult group studying the divine law and the lives of saints. In the children's group, in addition to the general program, special attention is given to children's creativity and drawing. Instruction is carried out by graduates of the "M.V. Lomonosov" Moscow State University.

The next services for Beijing's Orthodox community will be on the eve and the day of the Lord's Theophany.



Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2 Cor. 5:17). 

St. Gregory the Great