Russian Orthodox Christmas in Gosford
On Sunday 5 January, Monday 6 January and Tuesday 7 January we had services to prepare for and celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Matins for the Eve of the Nativity and in honour of the Martyr Eugenia (+AD) was served on the evening of Sunday 5 January. On the morning of Monday 6 January Vespers with the eight prophetic readings from the Old Testament and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great were served, after which we decorated our small church for the main festive services. On Monday evening we had All-night Vigil (Great Compline, Matins and First Hour) with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves, and on Tuesday morning Divine Liturgy was served. In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, our parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Hilarion Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Following the service on Tuesday many gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.