January 7, 2007

Mary Christmas, Ukrainians!

From Canada's Calgary Sun:

Christmas carollers and parishioners proclaiming the birth of Jesus Christ could be heard last night on the streets of the city's northeast.

That's because Ukrainian Christmas was being celebrated by members of St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Today marks the sacred day of nativity, one of anticipation for those of the Ukrainian Orthodox faith, said Father Taras Krochak of St. Vladimir's.

"This is Christmas Eve for us," said Krochak, hours before his evening service at 404 Meridith Rd. N.E.

"It's a special time, because without his nativity, we have no salvation."

Parishioners will also gather this morning for a 9:30 a.m. service led by Krochak at the church.

"I'll tell them Merry Christmas," Krochak said.

"And we'll rejoice in the nativity of our lord and saviour, Jesus Christ."

Krochak said most who celebrate Ukrainian Christmas spent last night with family for the holy supper, which is a dozen meatless dishes in memory of the 12 apostles who dedicated their life to the service of Jesus.

"The meal is still a fasting one," said Krochak.

"But on the day of Ukrainian Christmas itself, it'll be a non-fasting meal."

Today, those of the faith will visit with friends and relatives in homes and continue to celebrate for 12 days until the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 19, which corresponds with the baptism of Christ, Krochak added.

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