Orthodox and Oriental Christmas Celebrations in Bethlehem

Did you know that Christmas in Bethlehem happens more than once? It is actually celebrated 3 times because of the different Christian denominations protecting parts of the Nativity Church and each of them is also following different calendars – on the 6 & 7th of January the Greek Orthodox and Oriental Christmas celebrations will take place:

Orthodox Christmas Eve in BethlehemJANUARY 6

  • 9am – The Syriac Archbishop arrives at Manger Square
  • 9:30am – The Coptic Archbishop arrives at Manger Square
  • 11am – The Greek Orthodox Patriarch arrives at Manger Square
  • 1pm-3:30pm – Church of the Nativity Greek Orthodox vespers and liturgy
  • 1pm – Church of the Nativity – Syrian vespers
  • 2:30pm – Church of the Nativity – Coptic vespers
  • 3:30pm – Ethiopian arrival at the Manger Square and procession to the Ethiopian Church of Eyesus on Milk Grotto Street
  • 4-5pm – Church of Eyesus – Ethiopian vespers
  • 8:45pm – Church of Eyesus – Ethiopian bells, prayers and veneration of the Icons
  • 9:50pm – Church of Eyesus – Ethiopian laudes (Mahlet)
  • 10:30pm – Church of the Nativity – Greek matins
  • 10:40pm – Church of the Nativity – Coptic liturgy
  • 11pm – Church of the Nativity – Syriac liturgy

JANUARY 7

  • Midnight – 3:30am – Church of the Nativity – Greek liturgy
  • Midnight – Church of Eyesus – Midnight Liturgy (Kidassie)
  • 4am – Church of Eyesus – Ethiopian special breakfast
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