St. George’s Serbian Orthodox Church in Lorain holds annual Christmas celebration – Morning Journal


St. George’s Serbian Orthodox Church, 3335 Grove Ave. in Lorain, continues its annual Christmas celebration.

“We are following the old calendar which has a difference of 13 days,” said parish priest Hieromoine Nektarjie (Tesanovic). “Some churches follow the new calendar, but the Serbian church adheres to the old one.”

The Serbian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar, the celebration lasting three days.

The church was founded in 1925 and has been a staple in the community for almost 100 years.

Instead of the traditional Christmas tree, Serbian Orthodox Christians use a badnjak or oak tree.

“On Christmas morning we go into the forest and cut down the tree to bring it to the church to decorate it,” Nektarjie said. “When the service ends, we have a tradition of burning badnjak and all the devotees take a branch to take home for a blessing. “

The blessing of the oak tree symbolizes the grace of Christ when he was crucified.

The Serbian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar. (Aliah Kimbro – The Morning Newspaper)

The service also includes the liturgy and a large meal.

“Christmas is more than a good meal, gifts and a merry Christmas,” Nektarjie said. “It’s about truly celebrating and remembering that God was born and came to us for our salvation.”

Before Christmas, the Serbian Orthodox Church fasts and members do not eat animal products.

“Before Christmas we fasted for six weeks and it ended today,” Nektarjie said. “We prepare many traditional foods such as roast pork, chesnica and sarma, or stuffed cabbage. “

Chesnica is a loaf of bread that has a baked coin inside and symbolizes good financial exercise for whoever finds it.

Nektarjie said it was really a family issue.

“Our Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are celebrated three weeks before Christmas because family is important,” he said. “The father is the pillar of the family for the mother and the children, and today at Christmas the whole family is reunited and this is how we celebrate.”

The importance of family dynamics is evident in all sectors of society, said Nektarjie.

“God created the family structure and he blessed it,” Nektarjie said. “Bishop Nikolai, our great saint in Serbia, said that if the family is not healthy, then neither the state nor the church can be; our whole society will not be good if the family is not good.

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