Christmas services held in churches across Syria

Patriarch Yazigi presides upon Christmas mass in Aleppo

25 December، 2016
Provinces, SANA

Christmas mass was held at St. Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Aleppo city, presided upon by Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East John X Yazigi.

In his Christmas sermon, Patriarch Yazigi said that no words can describe the feelings brimming in the hearts in these days which witnessed the great victory of Aleppo and its salvation from terrorism, saluting the people of Aleppo for their steadfastness and their commitment to their land.

Yazigi prayed to God to preserve President Bashar al-Assad, to grant the Syrian Arab Army victory, and to bless the entirety of Syria with peace and security, and he also prayed for the return of the abducted bishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim who were abducted by terrorists in Aleppo countryside in 2013.

Christmas mass was also held at the Malkite Greek Cayholic Cathedral of the Dormition of Our Lady in Damascus, presided upon by Archbishop Joseph Absi.

During the mass, Absi said that peace is looming in the horizon, and that Syria will become once more a paradise, affirming that reconciliation is the only way for Syria to return to security, happiness, and prosperity.

In Sweida province, Christmas services and masses were held in several churches including the Bosra, Horan, and Jabal al-Arab Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Jesus the King Church, the Good Shepherd Church, and the churches of Shahba, Ora, and al-Qarya.

In the same context, the tallest Christmas tree in the southern area was lit in front of Unwanak resort in Sweida.

Meanwhile in Hasaka city, the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral held services at the Virgin Mary Church, which includes Christmas hymns, lighting a Christmas tree, and inaugurating a nativity scene.

In St. George Syrian Orthodox Church in Damascus, a mass was held headed by Mar Ignatius Aphrem II Karim, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church with the participation of Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus.

Patriarch Aphrem delivered the Christmas sermon in which he congratulated the Syrians on Aleppo’s liberation from terrorism, considering that “this joy is marred by the absence of the bishops of Aleppo John Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, hoping and praying that they will return soon.”

“We are celebrating Christmas in a time when beloved Syria is suffering from war, destruction, killing and displacement due to terrorist groups,” he added.

“Terrorist groups would not have been able to commit all these crimes and sabotage without complicity of some neighboring countries and international powers which supported, funded and armed these groups under the pretext of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights,” Patriarch Aphrem said.

A huge mass was also held in the National Evangelical Church of Damascus headed by Rev. Peter Zaaour.

In Daraa, the Christian denominations celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ the messenger of love and peace and held masses and prayers.

In Izraa city, celebrations were held in Mar Elias Church and the Church choir’s children recited hymns.

In Khabab town, the locals of the town lit a 14-meter-long Christmas tree and a nativity scene of 45 square meters.

In Hasaka province, the Christmas sermons highlighted the values of love, tolerance and peace that Jesus Christ brought to humanity.

In Lattakia, prayers and masses were held on this occasion in all the province’s churches, stressing on the need to adhere to these values in times of wars and destruction.