As with past Christmas holidays we once again celebrated with a number of engaging activities for not only the children but the young at heart. We lead off with an assemblage of gracious volunteers to come in and decorate the hall, tree and also the church as well. Everyone gets to participate in either hanging the lights or the little ones bringing an ornament to place on the tree.
Our Christmas party and a program are worked on for many months leading up to the event. There is always plenty of merry making and wonderful food, prepared by our volunteers. One of the highlights is the children’s program of younger ones singing Christmas carols in English and Armenian. Then the older children led by Tommy Kesecker, professional musician, play in a band with a drummer, guitarist, pianists and other instruments. What a joyful sound!
Christmas Eve candlelight service held on the 24th of December each year is filled with scripture readings along with a reenactment of the story of the birth of Christ. All the characters in colorful costumes participate as the story unfolds during the scripture readings. The parishioners are left with candlelight and the choir singing Silent Night! Afterward, all are invited to partake in a Christmas evening coffee hour.
January 5th, 2018 a tradition held for many centuries is the actual Christmas eve for orthodox Armenians. Keeping with the tradition evening services with scripture readings followed by the divine liturgy was held. The following morning, January 6th we celebrate the full holy mass with traditional hymns for the day. Most significant is the Blessing of the Water to commemorate Christ’s Baptism. That tradition calls for naming a “God Father to the Cross”, This year is was Zareh Arabatyan. At the end of the service, parishioners are encouraged to take the water that has been blessed.