JERUSALEM: January 21, 2021
Nativity celebrations in Russian Gethsemane
Nativity in a cistern--such was the unusual name given to the children's festivities in the Russian Convent of St Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane, Jerusalem.
Despite the quarantine and all sorts of limitations, the young parishioners of the Russian Church Abroad and their parents, observing all rules of caution, prepared to celebrate the Nativity of Christ.
Thanks to the efforts of Abbess Elizabeth, an old cistern was cleaned out, where preparations then began. Children and their parents prepared a Christmas pageant; little kids sang and dance, the older children prepared the set and led rehearsals.
It proved to be a festive celebration which gave great joy to the clergymen of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the abbess and her nuns. The children were delighted with gifts, but also learned to share joy with others. They prepared greeting cards and decorated Christmas cookies, which they gave to the sisters of the convent.