Following the Star - 01/08/11

Throughout Alaska Orthodox Christians "follow the star," a brightly decorated Star of Bethlehem with an icon of Nativity as its center, proclaiming that "Christ is born" to the homes of communities with traditional hymns and carols. Although caroling--and starring--originated in the Ukraine and is done in central Europe as well, it spread to Alaska a century ago and now is identified as a tradition of Native Orthodox Christians in Alaska. As we go from house to house in the days following the liturgical celebration of the birth of Christ--"God with us"--we remember the ancient prophecy that "a star will come forth from Jacob" (Numbers 24:17) to shine the light of God upon the nations of the world for our salvation. "Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has shone to the world the Light of Wisdom. For by it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness and to adore Thee, the Orient from on high. O Lord, glory to Thee" (troparion of Nativity). Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Fr. Andrei also went to the village of Atka on the Aleutian chain. There, he served the divine services of Nativity as well as kick-started the Starring event. Below is a slide show of images showing the days when Fr. Andrei was in Atka.