On Sunday January 21, 2024, the clergy, parishioners, and guests of Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Church celebrated the end of the Holiday Season with a Yolka celebration.
After Divine Liturgy everyone made their way next door to the education building which was decorated with lights, balloons, and festive Christmas decor. The celebration began with a prayer and a few words from the rector of the parish, Fr. Mark Rashkov. During his introductory remarks, Fr. Mark thanked all of the many volunteers from near and far that helped make the celebration possible. Afterwards, guests watched a live Nativity puppet show put on by parishioners of the church and directed by Vladislav Guzner and musically accompanied by Zinaida Rashkova. The show highlighting the events of Christ's birth and retold the Nativity story.
The Second part of the celebration was full of dancing, singing, fun and games. The both the children and adults were welcomed by Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz) and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden (Snegurochka). Afterward, the Sunday School children performed the Christmas Song "Deck the Halls" and individual children performed songs and poems which they prepared for Grandfather Frost and the guests.
After the Yolka celebration, every child received a holiday gift of sweets and everyone continued to enjoy each other's company and the holiday potluck lunch which was organized by the parish.
On January 18 and 19, 2024, the clergy and parishioners of Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Church in Little Falls, NJ celebrated the feast of the Theophany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As is the tradition of the Orthodox Church, the Holy "Agiasma" service of the Great Blessing of the water was served both after Divine Liturgy on the Eve of Theophany, and After Liturgy on the actual day of the feast. After the Great Blessing of water the clergy and faithful walked down to the stream of water the flows through the neighborhood while singing the hymns of Theophany. There, the stream of flowing water was also blessed and used to bless the faithful that were present.
Beginning on January 5th, 2024 the clergy and parishioners of Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Church in Little Falls, NJ, celebrated Nativity celebrations beginning with Great and Royal Hours, Nativity Eve services, and concluded with Divine Liturgy on Sunday, January 7. After Nativity Liturgy the Choir, lead by Sergei Kondratiev, spread Christmas cheer by singing tradition Christmas songs for the parish and Father Mark Rashkov gave out gifts of the icon of the Bethlehem Icon of the Virgin Marry to each parishioner.