The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is inviting the public to join them for their Lidet Christmas Service, set to be held tomorrow [Jan 6] at 9.30pm at 16 Old Military Road in St. George’s, followed by a traditional Christmas feast after the service.
The church will also be open to the public on Sunday [Jan 8] following the morning service until 4.00pm.
A spokesperson said, “Christmas is a major holy day in Ethiopia, where more than half of the population is Orthodox Christian. The celebration occurs on January 7th, preceded by a fast of 40 days.”
Slideshow of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s rededication service held last year:
“Lidet or Genna is the Ethiopian name for Christmas and is marked by special ceremonies. The difference of date is due to the use of the Julian calendar which is based on the year of Grace, seven or eight years after Anno Domini [the year of Our Lord].
“The calendar in use in the west is the Gregorian calendar under which Christmas is observed on December 25th.
“Here in Bermuda we celebrate in the tradition of the ancient Ethiopian Church. Our divine liturgical service begins at 9.30pm sharp on Christmas Eve with scripture readings and special prayers. The church is specially decorated with Christmas flowers and other festive decorations.”
“This is the time that the clergy wear their best vestments and the service begins with the procession of the Ark which is held on the deacon’s head and is covered with elaborate cloths.
This procession involves the clergy going around the church three times before the Ark is placed back on the altar.
“Christmas is a full service which means that there will be communion towards the end following the Preparatory service and the Anaphora. The service is based on the Christmas story and lasts for 2-3 hours.”
“At the end of service attendees greet each other, exchange Christmas salutations and everyone then gathers at the hall for an elaborate feast with lots of food, drink, music and celebration until the sunrise. The period after Christmas until Epiphany [January 19th] is a time for members to visit one another.
“All visitors are welcome to come and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [Eyesus Christos] in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition.”
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