BINGHAMTON, NY – Orthodox Christians are celebrating Christ’s birth today.

A Christmas Day mass was held this morning at Saint Michael’s Orthodox Church on Clinton Street in Binghamton.

The Orthodox faith follows the Julian calendar which recognizes Christmas 13 days later.

Father Jim Dutko has been the priest at Saint Mike’s for over 30 years.

Dutko says the day in which Christians celebrate Jesus’s birth is less important than heeding the message of the season.

He suggests people take their cue from the shepherds and the magi.

“If you read the last line of the story of the shepherds after encountering the Christ child, they return to where they were giving glory to God. And the wise men, they go home another way. So, maybe that’s the story, to give glory to God going home another way. Of course, we know the way Jesus tells us, we’re called as people to grow in grace and goodness and love and those things. That’s a real challenge. So, it’s not a question of a day, it’s a question of a way,” says Dutko.

Despite this morning’s snow and ongoing COVID concerns, dozens of parishioners filled the pews this morning.

The service was also live streamed.