Exchange of Christmas Greetings. A sign of unity and familiarity

Posted on Dec 30, 2016

The Christian Media Center presents: In the morning of Thursday, December 29, the eastern Christian churches gathered in the Custody of the Holy Land, in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the traditional exchange of Christmas Greetings.

An ancient rite: it has been a busy morning in the holy city, marked by the pace of the sticks of the kawas, the beaters with the Ottoman fez, just before the arrival of the different parades: the Eastern Christian churches indeed traveled to the Custody of the Holy Land and to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings.

As per tradition, Greek Orthodox, Armenians, and finally Copts and Syrian Orthodox followed one another in the Custody in an atmosphere of brotherhood, joy and harmony. Cooperation, respect and mutual understanding were the basis for the exchange of greetings, and once again emphasized the importance of a Christian community united in faith as well as in the everyday life.

Custos of the Holy Land

“This is a way to express the ties of fraternity and solidarity that are in fact real, because the main communities have worked together during the past recent years: there has been great collaboration by the Greek Orthodox and the Armenians in the restoration of the shrine of the Holy Sepulcher.
We could count on the support of the Christian community for the protection of all holy places, mainly because there is a healthy relationship between us and if we are united as Christians, being a minority, it is clear that our voice will be heard.”

The delegations of the different churches then approached the Latin Patriarchate: a tradition that is repeated every year because, as pointed out by the Apostolic Administrator in his greetings to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, these are important signs of harmony and cooperation not only in the custody of the holy places but also for our communities.

Apostolic Administrator – Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

“We are few and there are many problems between our communities, but we are one in the same. We must work together and show how, at the expense of all, we belong to this land and its roots.”

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem

“This is a great opportunity for us to renew our fraternal relationship and to reinforce our mission here, because we have a common interest and the mission in the Holy Land to take care not only of the holy places, that are our witness of faith but also to take care of our communities and our people, working together for the good of our society, for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.”