“Most of all, humans are lacking love. If we have love, everything will be all right,” stated the Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in his Christmas epistle on January 7, when the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas worldwide.
Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II says humans lack love
By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, January 8
Ilia II blessed all Georgia, placing particular emphasis on the occupied territories.
"I bless all Georgia, particularly Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We miss each other, we need each other,” said the Patriarch.
He called on Georgians to love, forgive and help each other. He advised people to reject categorical thinking and listen to opinions of others opinions.
“God is merciful. The main thing is to know ourselves, realize where the border is, where there should be a limit for our actions and freedom in order to avoid negative results. Let’s listen to each other and reject radical thinking,” the Patriarch stated.
According to Ilia II, nowadays most couples do not respect each other and cannot take responsibility together. They do not have deep love and reject their responsibilities because of even a little problem and start searching for new love.
‘‘Many families do not break up, but children living there are brought up in permanent quarrel and controversy that causes their stress. Men and women living together represent unity for achieving the condition of ‘being like god’…the process reveals itself by means of patience, responsibility and devoted love,” the epistle reads.
It should be noted that Christmas concluded the 40-day fast that started on November 28. Many Orthodox Christians meet Christmas at night in the churches, wherein they attend a Christmas Service and pray with other members of the church. Those who stay at home light candles in eastern windows. This tradition was established by Ilia II a few years ago to symbolise families welcoming Christmas and God in their families and hearts.
Moreover, every Christmas, a traditional Alilo march is held in Tbilisi and other big cities of Georgia. The ‘Alilo’ tradition dates back from the 5-6th centuries. Thousands of Alilo Participants, including children, wear special clothes, carry icons and other Christian relics and sing Christmas songs.
The march usually starts at Rustaveli Avenue and ends at the Trinity Cathedral. During the Alilo march, people give sweets and presents to the participants on the way. All the presents are usually handed over to orphanages.