Priest Vissarion Reflects on the Spiritual Significance of Christmas in Abkhazia

Christmas Vigil in Sukhum Cathedral: Priest Vissarion (Apliaa) pictured on the left.

Christmas Vigil in Sukhum Cathedral: Priest Vissarion (Apliaa) pictured on the left.

SUKHUM / AQW'A — On the eve of Christmas, the head of the Abkhazian Orthodox Church, Priest Vissarion (Apliaa), extended wishes of piety and purity to the believers of the republic. According to the cleric, as reported by "Apsnypress", this festival celebrated by Orthodox Christians around the world symbolises salvation and immortality.

"Piety and purity are of utmost importance to society. Only genuine love for God can provide the strength for this and help participate in the noble deeds of our society and state," he said.

Priest Vissarion believes that "the human without the divine leads to deformity." He emphasised the importance of not losing the image of God bestowed upon every individual.

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Christmas is a public holiday and a day off in the republic. The festive Christmas service will be held on the night of January 6th to 7th at several places including the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, the New Athos Monastery, and the Church of the Holy Great Martyr George, among others. The nocturnal service, beginning at 23:00, will include the Divine Liturgy, All-Night Vigil, and Procession of the Cross. Believers will have the opportunity to confess and take communion.

In Abkhazia, a unique tradition of celebrating Christmas has developed. Every year on this day, many city residents travel to their native villages to celebrate this joyous festival with their families.




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