The Albanian Orthodox Church – January 2015
The Divine Liturgy was led by the Archbishop of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania, His Beatitude Anastasios, assisted by the members of the Holy Synod: the Bishop of Apollonia Nicholas, the Bishop of Kruja Anthony, the Bishop of Amantias Nathaniel and the Bishop of Bylis Asti, the General Secretary of the Synod, Protopresbyter Jani Trebicka and other clergy from the capital.
At the conclusion of Liturgy, the Archbishop gave the traditional message which this year was entitled, “Amazing are the interventions of God – Overcoming the impossible”. Among other things, the Archbishop said: “Unexpected are the ways in which God acts; imperceptible to human logic. The events of Christmas reassure us of this truth. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, does not enter into the history of humanity as a military commander or an all powerful ruler. He does not impose Himself through power, wealth or external knowledge. He is born in a poor place, in the manger of a barn, in an inhospitable environment, indifferent, even hostile. His tender mother, “wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Llk.2: 7). In parallel, the historical events of the Nativity of Christ define the pattern of life for those who follow Him with devotion. Jesus humbled himself, emphasizing the value of those who are humble. He was born in poverty, inspiring compassion for the poor and suffering. He was persecuted, revealing the dignity of those who are unjustly prosecuted. He suffered, inspiring compassion for those who suffer. As a child He was harassed, so that we do not forget the rights and the needs of the children of the world.”
At the end of the Liturgy there was also the reading of a special message from the President of the Republic, Mr. Bujar Nishani, addressed to His Beatitude and to all the Orthodox believers.
At noon the traditional reception was organized at the headquarters of the Holy Synod. The Archbishop was visited and congratulated, among others, by the President of the Republic, Mr. Bujar Nishani, by the Chairman of the Parliament and Vice President, Mr. Ilir Meta and Mr. Vangjel Dule, by the heads of the religious communities of the country, the ministers and other state authorities, by the political parties, by the diplomatic corps in the country, and various personalities and believers.
On exiting, the President, Mr. Bujar Nishani, reiterated, “Once more Merry Christmas, the best wishes to the Albanian Christian believers wherever they are in Albania, in all the Albanian territories, in the diaspora, in immigration – to always have kindness.”
While the chairmen of the Parliament, Mr. Ilir Meta said, “On this Christmas day I would like to congratulate all the Christian believers, and also all the Albanian people, many wishes for prosperity for all, many blessings and joy in their families, and also, of course, in our society”.
Whereas the head of the Democratic Party, Mr. Lulzim Basha, wished the Christian believers in Shkodra, where he was also visiting the “Nativity of Christ” Orthodox Church, said, “From the pearl of respect and religious coexistence for Albania, the Balkans, Europe and worldwide, from Shkodra, I want to wish all the Christian believers and all believers in God, and all Albanians, Merry Christmas! It is the feast of hope, love and faith. I wish from my heart that the hope that springs from the symbolism of today will inspire us to become optimistic for a better tomorrow.