Sri Lankan community celebrates peace and joy of Christmas
|The beautiful nativity play performed by the children of the Sri Lankan Catholic community and their friends.|
Members of the Sri Lankan Catholic community in Sydney and their friends gathered in the church hall of Our Lady of Lourdes Seven Hills Parish on Sunday 4 December for the annual presentation of the Carol Service organised by the Sri Lankan NSW Catholic Association (SLNSW).
Now in its fifth year, this family and community event is organised by the SLNSW to celebrate the peace and joy of Christmas in commemoration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ.
This year’s program maintained the joyful spirit that has become the hallmark of the event and all who attended were treated to a thoroughly enjoyable and spiritually uplifting experience.
The program commenced with an opening prayer and welcome by Fr Jude Nicholas, the Chaplain for the Sri Lankan Catholic community in Sydney. This year’s Christmas message was delivered by Rev Fr Dominic Ceresoli, the Episcopal Vicar for Immigration of the Catholic Immigration Office.
The carols by the children’s choir followed by the combined youth and senior choirs held the audience spellbound by the energy and the quality of their singing. One of the main highlights of the program was the beautiful nativity play performed by the children of the Sri Lankan Catholic community and their friends.
The 40-minute play, dramatically and musically portraying the Biblical events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, was choreographed and directed by Niluki Gunaratne, a Special Religious Educator from St Bernadette's Dundas Valley Parish.
Other highlights included a ‘Welcome to Country’’ and a liturgical dance to the soft music of ‘One People One Country’ by an Aboriginal group and a musical item by two youths (members of the Tamil community in Sydney).
The children’s choir returned to the stage to sing ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ leading up to the arrival of Santa Claus, who was mobbed by the ecstatic children. The raffle added excitement and the winners took away their prizes with pride and joy.
The singing of the final hymn ‘Silent Night’ on a solemn note concluded a beautiful, spiritually rewarding, yet fun-filled night.
The event was graced by the Chief Guest Rev Fr Dominic Ceresoli, the Episcopal Vicar for Immigration of the Catholic Immigration Office. Other distinguished guests were Mr Dayasiri Fernando, The Sri Lankan Consul General in Sydney and Mrs Fernando, and visiting priests from Sri Lanka, Rev Fr Prasanna Warnakulasooriya and Rev Fr Kennedy Perera.
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