Damascus, SANA- Christian denominations in Syria celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, the messenger of love and peace, by holding masses and prayers in the churches and worship places.
At St. George Patriarchal Syriac Orthodox Church, mass was presided upon by Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II, who talked about the meaning of Christmas, saying that when peace and love manifest in relations and actions among people and they avoid injustice, peace will reign in the world.
The Patriarch said that Christmas this year comes as Syria is recovering gradually from years of war and destruction, praying for all abductees and captives, including Bishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim who had been abducted by terrorists in Aleppo countryside.
Mass was also held at the Evangelical National Church in Damascus, presided upon by Rev. Boutros Zaour, who said in his sermon that Christmas is a blessed message from Heaven saying the our lands where Christ was born cannot be desecrated, and that we will triumph over evil.
Zaour prayed for the souls of Syria’s martyrs and for the wounded, and for Syria to remain safe and stable and have a bright future.
In Hasaka, prayers and mass were held at St. George Syriac Orthodox Cathedral presided upon by Father Gabriel Khajo, while in Qamishli mass was held at the Virgin Mary Syriac Orthodox Church, presided upon by Father Saliba Abdullah.
In Daraa mass was held at the Lady of Annunciation Church, presided upon by Father George Rizq, and in Hama mass and prayers were held at the Hama Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Syriac Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, and Greek Catholic Church in Kafr Bahm, and the Evangelical Church in Mhardeh.
Christmas celebrations in Aleppo were held at the Arab Evangelical Church, Chaldean Church, Church of the Cross, Latin Church, St. George Church, Mar Aphrem Church, Syriac Catholic Church, and the Maronite Church.
Meanwhile in Homs, prayers and mass were held at the Lady of the Belt Church in the Old City, the Greek Catholic Archdiocese, Forty Martyrs Church, the Evangelical Church in Bustan al-Diwan, Mar Maron Church, and Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.
Mass held on Christmas Eve at Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of Our Lady in Damascus
A divine mass was held at the Greek-Melkite Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of Our Lady in Damascus headed by Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All East Joseph Absi.
Patriarch Absi affirmed the supreme meanings embodied by the Christmas, saying “Today our beloved homeland is born again in the hearts of its people…Syria today is a renewable and wonderful country thanks to the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army and the wise leadership of President Bashar al-Assad.”
“We stand by and pray for those who have supported Syria, and it is doubtless that due to those sacrifices and prayers all foreigners will get out of our country soon and we will be happy and celebrate,” the Patriarch added.
Participants in the mass talked about the supreme meanings of the Christmas, indicating that it represents the coexistence and the openness to the others for building a dignified homeland and a promising future.
Aleppo celebrates Christmas in coincidence with celebrating anniversary of its triumph over terrorism
Meanwhile, Christian denominations in Aleppo celebrated Christmas by holding prayers and masses at a number of churches
Sermons referred to the lofty meanings of the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ, the messenger of love, of peace, love and tolerance.
The masses and prayers called for amity, coexistence and solidarity to be able to overcome the ordeals and to realized peace and security.
They hailed the victories achieved over terrorism thanks to the unity of the Syrian people and their solidarity with their army.
They also hailed the wise leadership of President al-Assad, hoping that terrorism will be eliminated from every inch of the Syrian territories and Syria will be stronger than ever.
A Christmas tree lit up and a choral held in Tartous
With a massive popular attendance and on occasion of Christmas, a tree was lit up in Tartous city.
Head of Tartous City Council, Judge Mohammad Zain stressed that all the spectrums of the locals are living in an atmosphere of joy and amity.
A ceremony was also held as Arjwan Choral performed about 11 Christmas songs from different parts of the world in eight languages .
Prayers and masses were also held in a number of provinces, including Lattakia and Sweida highlighting the values of amity, tolerance and peace that Jesus Christ brought to humanity and praying for God for security and stability to prevail over all Syrian territory.
Ruaa al-Jazaeri / Hazem Sabbagh