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12-26-2017 11:30 AM
January 7 is Orthodox Christmas and is celebrated on that day every year.. Orthodox Christians follow the Julian calendar that was in existence before Christ was born and did not make the change to the new Georgian calendar in 1582 by the Pope. Orthodox Christians do not consider the Pope their religious leader.
My DH is Orthodox Christian, but not Russian. There are many Orthodox Christians all over the world.
For this reason, many people and whole communities do not take their Christmas decorations down until after January 7.
12-26-2017 11:40 AM
Actually, Christmas isn't over until Epiphany on January 6th. Personally, while I observe the date most people do, I prefer the Orthodox date. It serves to extend the 'holliday' season that begins on Thanksgiving for most of us and increases the chances of a wintry celebration.
12-26-2017 11:40 AM
Some Orthodox certainly shop early. My hairdresser is one of them.
It used to be traditional to leave all decorations up until 12th night also called , the Feast of the Epiphany, (Jan 7)or as some call it Little Christmas.
Decorations were real, and people really didn't decorate until almost Christmas ,so you couldn't have decorated like they do now. The stuff would have been a fire hazard
12-26-2017 11:45 AM
Some Orthodox are certainly in communion with Rome
Most people are not aware that the “Catholic Church” is actually comprised of twenty-three independent Catholic Churches, all in union with the pope. The Western, or Latin Catholic Church, is so large, however, that many people, even Catholics, are completely unaware of the other twenty-two churches, which make up the Eastern Branch. (Some have from only a few thousand members to a few million.)
Originally, there was only one denomination… the Catholic Church (the word Catholic meaning “universal”). However, there were five cities that early on were singled out as being important centers of Christianity. They were Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and of course, Rome. Each developed its own unique traditions and liturgy, but ALL shared a common theology and were in communion with each other and the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. However, about 1000 years ago, due to a variety of unfortunate problems, the other four cities, allied with the Byzantine Empire, mutually broke off from Rome, forming the various Eastern Orthodox Churches. Although doctrinally, they are virtually identical to Catholics, they refuse to acknowledge that the pope is more than a “first among equals”. (A couple groups broke of much earlier in the 400s AD also, to form what are known as the Oriental Orthodox Churches).
What has happened is that over time, some portions of each of the various Orthodox groups have decided to reconcile with the Catholic Church and come back into communion with Rome. When they do, they are allowed to keep all of their traditions and much of their independence, although they acknowledge the authority of the Pope. They become truly Catholic, in that anyone from ANY branch of the Catholic Church can participate in the liturgy and ceremonies of any OTHER branch of the Catholic Church. The only two Eastern groups that never fell out of communion with the Catholic Church were the Maronite Catholic Church, and the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church. So… for every branch of the Orthodox Churches that are NOT in communion with Rome, there is a corresponding and virtually identical branch of the Eastern Catholic Church that IS in communion with Rome. Since their customs and liturgies date from before the Council of Trent, they are allowed to remain.
The following liturgies are used by the Eastern Catholic Churches:
12-26-2017 12:13 PM
CHERRY: So interesting that I'm going to print your informative post! ........ I've often wondered why I've always had an urge to attend a Russian Orthodox Church's service/Mass. Sometimes we gravitate toward something that secretly ties us to it.
12-26-2017 01:15 PM
I am Russian Orthodox, and my church is one of a few that still celebrates Christmas on January 7. Most Russian churches have opted to no longer follow the Julian calendar, and celebrate Christmas on December 25. It is much easier to just celebrate with the rest of the world. When I was born, my mother, who is Catholic and Polish, did not belong to a parish. My father, who is Russian and Russian Orthodox, belonged to his family's church, so that was the only option for me in terms of baptism. My parents divorced when I was 3. Growing up, it was wonderful, because I had 2 Christmases. I would celebrate Christmas, as normal, on 12/25 with my mother's side of the family, then on January 6, I would go to my paternal grandparent's home and celebrate Russian Christmas. While Russian Christmas in January 7, the real celebration occurs on January 6. That night, we would have the traditional Christmas Eve dinner (more on that later if anyone is interested), go to church, then there would be a massive party at the house during which all of my family and grandfather's employees would be invited. My most special childhood memories are centered around those Russian Christmas Eves. Now, everyone is dead, the house has been sold, and my January 6 usually involves me lighting the tree and listening to grandma's old Russian Christmas carol album which I had professionally converted to CD and sent copies to the remaining family a few years ago.
12-26-2017 01:46 PM
Would love to hear about your traditional Christmas eve dinner, and customs, @TenderMercies.
Although Protestant, we always observed the full twelve days of Christmas. My mother scrupulously kept up our decorations till then. She also told me that it was ancient custom in some quarters to give gifts on both New Year's and on January 6. Part of her family was originally from both northern and southern Ireland, were both "Scotch-Irish" and Irish, and I think they preserved a lot ot their feeling for the 12 days of Christmas even long after the earlier generations emigrated and scattered to the New World...
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