Last Saturday the Jubilate Choir have very successfully performed at our Church, presenting traditional Christmas Carols, in English and Greek. Fr. Anastasios welcomed the Choir and the congregation with the following words:
Good-evening to you all and welcome to our newly build Church of St. Panteleimon and St. Paraskevi.
In the Gospel according to St. Luke, ch. 2, verses 1-7 we read:
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
This is the actual story of Christmas. This is exactly what is commemorated throughout the Christendom on the 25th December every year.
Christmas is a unique Christian festival. There is no Christianity without it. The Holy Scriptures record that “...every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John 4, 3).
Various complimentary names have been given to this feast by the Holy Fathers. “First feast” is named by St. Epiphanius; St. Gregory of Nazianzus calls it “feast of recreation”. St. John Chrysostom declares it a “metropolis of all the feasts”.
It is natural then for all nations (the British and the Greek included) to produce hymns and carols in honour of this great festival and in praise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
This is why we are gathered here tonight in order to celebrate Christmas, to sing carols, to chant hymns and to admire the awards-winning ladies’ choir Jubilate, with all those beautiful voices of the highly talented ladies, directed by their Musical Director Sarah Stroh, who had done all the hard work of preparation, but could not be with us tonight, due to a small health problem. We wish her speedy recovery. Wyn Highland, who will be the accompanist for tonight, will also play Sarah’s role. Many thanks to them both.
Reading through the web site of the Jubilate Choir I found with some pride that they have actually started their history from our area, Kingsbury. Then they progressed in becoming a large group, which has performed in many places and events, known for its high standard of performance, its varied repertoire, and its sense of fun.
I am sure you would allow me to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to our dearest Helen Georgiades, as well as to her daughter Ninoska Leppard (a regular member of the Choir) who both had the original idea for tonight’s event.
Tea and coffee for the interval will be offered by Helen Georgiades and Lela Vazania, while the Choir is offering the traditional minced pies, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of all of us.
It is obviously known that the proceeds of this event will be shared between our newly built Church, which still owes about 1 million pounds after its recent completion, and the Choir. We are always looking to find people and companies ready to support financially our beautiful new Church to repay its loans.
My dearest friends,
Let us wish that this Christmas will be filled with spiritual joy and happiness and the main gift that we shall all receive will be Jesus Christ himself, our Saviour and our Lord!