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Serbian Orthodox Christians usher in Christmas

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/06/21/26/1ftzMI.Em.138.jpg|222
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    A large oak tree branch is burned at the conclusion of St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church in Charlotte Christmas celebration at 7 p.m. Monday Jan. 06,2014 with Vespers and Holy Liturgy..
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/06/20/52/gRq5D.Em.138.jpeg|245
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Choir members, from left, Mirjana Todorvich, Marija Stouffer and Arijana Mijanovic sing as members of St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church in Charlotte, take part in their Christmas celebration, with Vespers and Holy Liturgy, Monday night.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/06/20/52/1ti3j4.Em.138.jpeg|475
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Sava Stouffer 3, touches a ornament on a large oak tree branch while as members of St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church in Charlotte take part in their Christmas celebration, with Vespers and Holy Liturgy, Monday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/06/20/52/C55nZ.Em.138.jpeg|250
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Father Jovan Todorovich (center) of St. Petersburg Fla. blesses the altar with incenses, Father Theodore Kryitsis (left), altar boys Marko Mijanovic 7 (left), Jakob Bogojevich 15 (right), as members of St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church in Charlotte, take part in their Christmas celebration at 7 p.m. Monday Jan. 06,2014 with Vespers and Holy Liturgy.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/06/20/52/3W9ea.Em.138.jpeg|355
    Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Father Jovan Todorovich, center, of St. Petersburg, Fla., blesses the St. Simeon Serbian congregation.

More Information


Meeting in their new sanctuary on Mallard Creek Road, members of St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church ushered in Christmas on Monday night with Vespers and Holy Liturgy. For them, the holiday marking Jesus’ birth officially falls on Jan. 7, which is Tuesday.

In calculating their liturgical calendar, Orthodox Christian churches with roots in Slavic countries such as Russia and Serbia go by the Julian calendar, which was introduced by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar and was in effect when Jesus was born 2,000 years ago.

Protestants and Catholics, who celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, follow the Gregorian calendar, named for Pope Gregory VIII, who refined the Julian calendar in 1582.

About 100 families worship at St. Simeon, which had its beginnings two decades ago when Serbian families began gathering for worship in Charlotte.

The church is still looking for a full-time pastor. On Monday, the services were conducted by two priests, Fathers Theodore Kyritsis and Jovan Todorovich, who are helping the congregation.

Tim Funk

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