Enver Alas – Murat Deliklitaş – Özgür Eren – Latif Sansür – Ramazan Çelik – Ufuk Aktuğ – Mustafa Ercan / Istanbul – Aydın – Hatay – Mersin, Dec 25 (DHA) – The holy Christmas night was celebrated across Turkey late on Dec. 25 and has gathered all religions and people visiting from around the World.
In Istanbul, such Christmas ceremonies were held at Church of Saint George, in the garden of Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Fatih, as well as Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Beyoğlu, where masses lighted candles, prayed and made wishes.
The ceremony led by Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos started at 09.00 p.m. in the garden, followed by the ceremony at the church, where hymns echoed of the walls of the historical Patriarchate.
The Church of St. Anthony located in Istanbul was also full of masses ahead of the Christmas, marking the birth of Jesus Christ, like previous years. Attendees of the two-hour-long Christmas ceremony lighted candles and prayed, also took souvenir pictures inside the church and the garden. Passages from the Bible were read with accompaniment of prayers and hymns, while a representative of the birth of Jesus was performed.
In Aegean province of İzmir, people flocked to House of Virgin Mary in Selçuk district, to celebrate the Christmas Eve and watch the ceremonies. The priest called on attendees to make wishes for people next to them and hug them. A billboard full of wishes marked prays for houses, partners, even a championship of football teams they support.
The Christmas Eve also marked southeastern provinces of Turkey. The holy night was celebrated at Church of St. Pierre, known as one of the first Catholic churches of the world, located in Turkey`s southeastern province of Hatay.
Orthodox and Catholic attendees celebrated Christmas with separate ceremonies, where they prayed for world peace.
St. Nicolas Orthodox Church in Iskenderun also hosted a ceremony, where church officials gave presents to children. The Orthodox Church Association Head Can Teymur told they have `simplified the ceremony` due to security tension in Turkey`s southeast.
In southeastern province of Mersin, Italian Catholic Church organized a ceremony led by Priest Francis Dondu where attendees prayed in Turkish and Italian, read passages from the Bible.
The province is also home to the Mersin Cemetery, known as the Cemetery of Indulgence, where Muslims and Christians have been buried next to each other.
DHA-English News-Religion, Life, Culture – Türkiye-İstanbul / Merkez – DIŞ HABERLER SERVİSİ