Global parishes of the Assyrian Church of the East have celebrated the Holy Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services drawing thousands of faithful.
His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, offered the Holy Qurbana at St. George Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois, Diocese of the Eastern United States.
In his annual patriarchal epistle, which was read in all parishes of the Assyrian Church of the East, His Holiness highlighted the importance and obligation of every Christian “to love and respect one another so that we all will be worthy to delight in the divine love of Christ”.
In the Archdiocese of Australia the Eucharistic Liturgy was consecrated in parishes in both Sydney and Melbourne.
The Holy Qurbana was offered during the traditional midnight service in the Metropolitan See of Sydney by His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM at St. Hurmizd Cathedral, accompanied by Rev. Chor-bishop Ashoor Lazar, Rev. John Kushaba and Rev. Yousip Jazrawi in the presence of more than 5000 faithful. The Holy Qurbana also offered by Rev. Moshe Barkho at St. Mary Church in Fairfield and Rev. Younan Dawod at St. George Parish, Mattraville.
Additionally, Rev. Genard Lazar consecrated the Eucharistic Liturgy in the English language for Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in the auditorium of the Assyrian Australian Social Centre (AASC).
Throughout his sermon, Rev. Genard emphasized that Christmas is not only about the infancy of Christ, as is usually portrayed throughout the world; it is also about Christ’s deity, ministry and sovereignty. He also explained that “the greatest gift we can give Christ” is the renewing of our minds and lives (2 Corinthians 5:17).
On Christmas Day, Rev. Chor-bishop Ashoor Lazar offered the Holy Qurbana at St. Hurmizd Cathedral and Rev. Younan Dawod officiated a service at St. Mary Church in Fairfield.
In Melbourne, the Holy Qurbana was offered at three locations during the midnight service; Rev. Hurmizd Jarjeis at St. George Church in Reservoir, Rev. Korkis Toma at St. Odisho Church and Rev. Narsai Youkhanis at Ishtar Reception in the English Language. Rev. Antwan Mikhail offered the Holy Qurbana on Christmas Day at St. George Church.
The Holy Qurbana was also consecrated in parishes throughout North America and Canada, New Zealand, Europe, India, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East with the participation of tens of thousands of faithful.
In the Archdiocese of Syria, the Holy Eucharist was offered by Rev. Toma Asitivo at St. George Parish, Damascus, celebrating the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On Christmas Day, Rev. Archdeacon Toma Oraham conducted the Eucharistic Liturgy for 2000 faithful.
Both services took place in the area of Deir Ibrahim Khalil, Jarmana, where many Assyrian immigrants from Iraq are now residing and in need of help from charitable associations such as the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organization (ACERO).