For many Orthodox Christians, Wednesday is Christmas

Wednesday was Christmas Day for many Orthodox Christians in Charlotte and around the world.

St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church on Mallard Creek Road, spiritual home to about 100 families, celebrated Jesus’ birth with Holy Liturgy.

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 XIII, who refined the Julian calendar in 1582.

The service at St. Simeon was in Cyrillic and English, with a little Greek. It was conducted by two priests, including the Rev. Theodore Kyritsis, a retired Greek Orthodox priest who is pastor at the 20-year-old church. Tim Funk