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THE BLESSED FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST IN PAKISTANby Fr. Joseph Farooq, January 10, 2016
ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL ORTHODOX MISSION PAKISTAN (ROCOR)
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on January 7, 2016 the Russian Orthodox believers outside Russia in Pakistan celebrated Christmas according to Traditions and Faith of the Mother Church (Russia). It is our true joy and strong spiritual unity that we celebrated Christmas on the same date along with our Orthodox brothers and sisters around the world by following the “Julian calendar”. therefore Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on January 7.
January 7 “The Day of Joy and Blessing” For Pakistani Orthodox Christians
It is worth mentioning that the Christmas Lent is a favourable time in which we need to bring the fruits of repentance and prayer. The ROCOR priest Fr. Joseph Farooq in Pakistan preached forty days of fasting to the orthodox believers and they were taught not to eat meat and were asked to pray for the repentance of their sins and do some charity for the poor and needy. The Christian Community in Pakistan is very poor but they do some charity for their brothers and sisters. Many of the faithful come for confession during the regular Sunday’s Divine Liturgy to gain spiritual perfection. All the religious services on New Year and on Christmas Day were full of orthodox worshippers in Pakistan.
Festive Divine Liturgy:
On January 7, 2016: With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Festive Divine Liturgy was celebrated for Pakistani Orthodox faithful of ROCOR. About 300 orthodox worshippers and 30 non-orthodox who wish to embrace holy orthodoxy attended the Divine Liturgy. On Christmas day, during the Divine Liturgy special prayers were offered for peace in Syria, Pakistan and Middle East and other parts of the world, we also offer prayers for the health of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, for the Orthodox clergy and orthodox faithful all over the world.
Homily of St. John Chrysostom on the Nativity of Christ:
After the Divine Liturgy, Fr.Joseph Farooq preached the deep theology of Christ’s incarnation which is interpreted by Blessed John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople and the teacher of church. In his sermon, Fr. Joseph Farooq emphasized that faithful should strengthen their faith as they face trials, tribulation and persecutions.
Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion:
I am grateful to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who shared his special Christmas Message and greetings with ROCOR Community in Pakistan.
Distribution of Gifts, Ration and Warm Clothes:
I am thankful to the kind donors who generously contributed with pure heart for the Christmas gifts, ration for poor orthodox families and warm clothes for children. May the Most Holy Mother of God save them all. I extend my heartfelt thanks to all my kind donors and may God bless their donations and charity for the poor and needy.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan has dedicated the Year 2016, that with help of kind donors, we shall be able to buy land and build the first Holy Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan and school for Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Christian Children.
Funds are distributed from the ROCOR Fund For Assistance and directly distributed to the mission