“The Church is like a boat, even if you forget yourself and fall asleep, it will still take you to the other side.’’ Saint Paisios of The Holy Mountain
Once again the air was alive with the sounds of little voices celebrating the spirit of Christmas!
The children of St George’s Cathedral Sunday School in Cape Town delighted everyone at our annual presentation of the traditional Christmas Karavaki held at the Archbishopric in Rondebosch on Saturday 3 December 2016.
His Eminence Archbishop Sergios gave the opening address. He welcomed the official guests who included Father Nikolaos, Parish Priest of Cape Town and Presvytera Maria, Mr Babi Phillipou, honorary consul of Cyprus, Mr Foti Sousalis, president of the Hellenic Community of Cape Town and committee member Andreas Coulbanis who is also the newly elected president of Nahysosa.
He thanked the teachers of the Sunday School for their continued efforts to share our Faith with the children and also the parents for ensuring that their children participate in the life of the Church. And said that the Orthodox Faith is a “living” faith and therefore children need to experience it in a natural way, firstly through participating in the Sacramental life of the Church and secondly, by actively sharing in events which are organised by the Church.
His Eminence drew attention to the fact that in these times the family unit is under attack everywhere and events such as these support family life in a natural environment. He stressed that it is important that the children should not feel any pressure to perform their parts but rather that it should be an enjoyable experience for them. Finally, he thanked the children and wished everyone a blessed Nativity season.
This year our programme included the very “littlies” who simply stole our hearts with their charming renditions of Greek Christmas carols and also the older children who performed readings and festive songs as well as a charming nativity play.
The musical moments were provided by a talented quartet of young violinists and a cellist and all the guests were encouraged to sing along with the children karaoke-style, following the words of well-loved and popular Greek kalanda and English carols, on a big screen.
At the end of the performances we all tucked into a splendid festive feast of nistisimo snacks and mouth-watering Greek confectionery provided by the ladies of The Welfare Committee. The children, meanwhile, were busily icing Christmas biscuits as special gifts for their parents, a messy but marvellous task!
Afterwards, as the moon came up, we started the countdown to switching on the lights of the Karavaki. Once again it was a vision to behold — a truly magical little boat decked out in shimmering phosphorescence and twinkling lights.
It was a very laid-back and happy evening and a perfect way to start the Christmas season with family and friends.
This year marks the seventh Karavaki festivity and, as always, everyone shared the love and enjoyment that has made the Karavaki a signature event in our Orthodox Christmas calendar
We wish everyone Καλα Χριστουγεννα και Χρονια πολλα για το νεο ετος
By Pepe Sofianos.