Traditional carols of Christmas and the New Year, hymns of the Holy Twelve Days of Christmas which created an overwhelming atmosphere, as well as festive sounds and melodies that gave birth to joyful emotions, delighted the large audience at the “Christmas Carols”, an event and institution organised every year in Sydney by the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
The event, which took place on Saturday, 23 December, in the courtyard of the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady, was attended by clergy of the local Church, Chanters, male and female students of Greek Orthodox colleges and Sunday Schools, choirs of parishes and Greek organisations, as well as the choir of the Greek Orthodox Christian Society of New South Wales and the Byzantine Choir of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia offered congratulations to all the contributors of the event during his brief greeting, making special mention of the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, who was in charge of the general organisation of the event.
His Eminence also focused on the angelic hymn: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace…”, which we remember and chant during the current period, as we celebrate the world-changing and saving event of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ. Recognising with sadness, that much-desired peace is still needed for many regions of our planet, mentioning Ukraine as an example and also the Holy Land, where Christ was born and taught, he paternally implored the audience to continue to pray heartily “for the world to be at peace, for people to find peace and that wars will disappear. And if possible, that no person nor nation will ever experience war again.”
At the same time, Archbishop Makarios pointed out that the experience of war can touch all people, even if they are separated by a sufficient distance from the places where war conflicts are taking place. “War is not only related to the interests, the disagreements of the peoples or the expansionist tendencies that some people have,” he observed and explained: “War and peace also have to do with the soul of humankind. There are people who are alone, inside their home, without stimulation from anyone and without anyone disturbing them, but their hearts are not at peace. Their hearts are as if they are in the middle of a war. Their heart is constantly upset, mixed up, confused, stressed, and always in a panic.” “Christ is the one who can give peace to people’s souls”, His Eminence pointed out with emphasis, while concluding by wishing all those present to have the Incarnate Son and Word of God as a permanent resident of their hearts.
Present, among others, at the “Christmas Carols” event were His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia, Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, and Mr. Lambros Athanasiou, representative of the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis.