The most famous Orthodox Christian in Pittsburgh, if not the nation, has a greeting for his fellow believers today:
“Kala Christougena!” said Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. That’s Greek for “Merry Christmas!”
Mr. Polamalu and his wife, Theodora, actually celebrated Christmas 13 days ago, but they keep the same Orthodox traditions as those who observe today. Most Orthodox celebrate on Dec. 25, but many Slavic churches tie liturgy to the old Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. The Greek Orthodox Church and some others have adopted the Gregorian calendar — except at Easter.
“We all celebrate Easter on the same day,” said Mr. Polamalu, 29. Orthodoxy is the Eastern wing of the earliest Christian church, which split into the Orthodox and Catholic churches in 1054.
He and Theodora converted to Orthodoxy about five years ago. His background was Catholic and Protestant, hers Muslim and Protestant. They were Christians in search of a deeper, more consistent experience of God.
“Orthodoxy is like an abyss of beauty that’s just endless,” he said. “I have read the Bible many times. But after fasting, and being baptized Orthodox, it’s like reading a whole new Bible. You see the depth behind the words so much more clearly.”
That fasting is a Christmastime difference between Eastern and Western Christians. While many Americans pile on the food from Thanksgiving to Christmas, Orthodox Christians …
Read it all – here.
Thanks to FWD from Jan Pedersen.