On December 23rd, early in the morning, believers participated in the beautiful Service of the Great Hours of Christmas, filled with hymns and readings from the Old and New Testament that speak about the birth of Christ, followed later by the Service of Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great. The Christmas celebration began at 6:00 am. The church was overflowing with hundreds of faithful who attended the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom and then received Holy Communion, which crowned the preparation for the celebration of this feast.
Christmas is a day full of meaning and motivation for being closer to all people, with prayers and thanksgiving. It is a day in which everyone has a moment of reflection on his life and faith, but also a day of good wishes and gifts.
This atmosphere continued also in the environments of the Holy Archdiocese, where the representatives of other religious communities, high state dignitaries, prominent intellectuals and many believers came to share their good wishes.
The first to visit the Archdiocese was the Chairwomen of the Parliament, Josefina Topalli, who said: "Together with the New Year's holiday, these are the most beautiful feasts. If you reflect and think about what Christmas is, more than anything else it is, the overcoming of the impossible. Albanians throughout their history have made possible what was impossible. Congratulations to all the Albanians who have migrated for years, also to the soldiers in Afghanistan", - emphasized Topalli.
The head of the state, President Bamir Topi, emphasized that today there is a need for communication and reflection. "I want to offer wishes this day to all the Christians. This feast has a great symbolic significance; it is the feast of the birth of hope and peace, and for the path of communication to be open. There is a need for reflection. I believe that next year will be a year filled with more dialogue and achievements for Albania," said Mr. Topi.
"I express my best wishes for the Orthodox Christians and for the all the Christians believers who honor this day the major event of human life, birth. They honor not only birth, but the birth of a man who will be martyred, sacrificed in order to enlighten the human mind and humanity. Let us congratulate and thank God for the great support that He has given and gives to the Albanians that celebrate this day today; in the best way than ever in their history ", - said Mr. Berisha.
Translated by Ana Meni
Edited by Anastasia Pamela Barksdale, M.Div.