The birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has been acknowledged and glorified as the true purpose of Christmas celebrations, through songs of praise at the annual Carols by Candlelight event organised by Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, Sydney.
The popular Christmas event, held under the stars at St John’s Park High School, Sydney on 18 December, officially commenced with a welcome speech by Reverend John Kushaba, Ss. Peter & Paul Parish Priest.
“For many people this is the busiest time of the year,” Rev. John told the crowd of approximately 500 English-speaking Assyrian and non-Assyrian faithful.
“It’s the busiest time because the reports are due; because we need to tie up loose ends before we go on our holiday break; and sometimes we might be too busy and caught up in the busyness of the life that we’re living and we forget about the true focus and the true reason of why we are here on this earth.
“And that reason is to bring glory to our awesome God – who loves us continually – through worshipping Him in Jesus’ name. This is why we are on this earth.”
Rev. John added that while it is sometimes easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas, we must remember that Jesus Christ is the only reason for the season.
“Christmas is purely to remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour who humbled Himself in accordance with what we learn in Phillipians Chapter 2 – he made Himself in the form of human and came down and suffered for our sake. What an awesome God we have that did all of this for us!
“I am confident that we will all be touched in a spiritual way and we will all be brought that one step closer to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the praises we will all partake in.”
The evening’s Christmas carols began with the St. Hurmizd Assyrian Primary School Choir taking the stage for a medley of songs in the Assyrian language, guided by Shamasha Ninos Elya.
Soon it was time for the Ss. Peter & Paul Parish Choir to take the stage, opening with a solo performance of O’ Come, O’ Come, Immanuel.
Conducted by Shamasha Ninos Babisha and with Reverend Narsai Youkhanis on violin, the collection of 13 Christmas carols also included What Child Is This?, Mary Did You Know?, and Good Christian Men Rejoice.
The all-ages crowd sang along to classic carols and favourites such as Little Drummer Boy, Silent Night, O’ Come All Ye Faithful and Joy To The World.
The event also marked the anticipated competition draw of the Mazda 2 giveaway, Samsung 50 inch 3D HD Plasma TV and $1500 Coles Myer voucher, following a year-long donation campaign to raise funds for the building of two new churches for the Diocese of Australia – Ss. Peter & Paul Parish and St. George Parish.
Next year’s Carols by Candlelight event and competition draw promises to be even bigger and better, with plans to be announced by the Ss. Peter & Paul Parish committee in January 2011.[nggallery id=109]