Members of Charlotte’s St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church braved the threat of snow Friday night to celebrate the Christmas liturgy. It’s an event rich in visual splendor and ancient rituals.
Like other Orthodox churches in Eastern countries like Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia, the 100 families who attend St. Simeon follow the Julian calendar; hence the different date for Christmas than Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.
On Friday night, St. Simeon’s priests and congregants processed around church, and placed hay on the sanctuary floor to commemorate Jesus’ birth in a humble stable 2,000-plus years ago.
Presiding over the liturgy were Fathers Memonia Tesic, the pastor from Serbia, and Theodore Kyritsis, the pastor emeritus.
St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church was founded in Charlotte 25 years ago.