Our 2006 Christmas festivities began with the annual AROY-St Nicholas Brunch on December 3. Later in the month, a Christmas tradition was renewed by our Nativity Concert on December 17. The event brought compliment after compliment, and tears in the eyes of many who packed into St George Hall. We thank John E Lazar for initiating the event that featured: carols by the Cathedral’s fine Archbishop Valerian Choir, directed by Sbdn John Eugene (& Fr Laurence); a Romanian village caroling scene by the Românaşul Folk Ensemble; our Church School children; our talented young pianists William Tudor Mindroiu and Elena Bucciarelli; and a visit by “Moş Crăciun” himself. We gratefully acknowledge all who worked to organize and sponsor this special day.

On the days leading to the feast, a dedicated group of "Colindatori" traveled across the city to visit the homes of parishioners and friends and announce the the good news of Christ's birth. This is an ancient custom, especially popular in Romania, so we thank our carolers for their dedication to maintain this important part of the holiday, and we also thank everyone who opened their homes and offered donations to the church.

On Christmas Eve, faithful gathered for the Divine Liturgy (as it was a Sunday) and filled the church. That evening the moving Compline and Matins of the Nativity was celebrated. The smell of evergreens and flowers and the glow of hundreds of candles filled the night with light as the birth of Our Lord was announced. On Christmas morning, His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel presided over the Divine Liturgy with Father Laurence, Archdeacon David and Deacon Sabin. Faithful again filled the church to mark this Holy day. Following services, a festive reception was held in the Cultural Center where families and friends exchanged greetings and shared in the joy of Christmas with one another.

In the joy of the Nativity Feast we thank our Choir members, directed by Sdn John E Lazar, for their hours of rehearsal and for prayerfully leading our liturgical responses; and the Cantors who assisted, especially at the Christmas Vigil. Also, the Ladies Auxiliary members for their baked goods, and Chef Michael Kalugar (!), for offering the traditional Christmas Day Reception; to JE Lazar for arranging the Cathedral with the flowers (etc.) offered by the faithful; and Karen & Frank Persichino for arranging the Cultural Center decorations; Cezarina Hritcu, Gheorghe & Florica Babiciu, Bobby Westerfield and every other good soul inadvertently not mentioned here, for their “extra” voluntary efforts. 


Carolers visit parishioners
Nancy Cocariu, Jessica Precop & Silvana Totan
"O ce veste minunata..."

Carolers visited the Lazar Family on Christmas
Our hosts joined in singing carols as well
"Deschide usa Crestine..."

Colinde bring smiles to everyone's face
"Santa's helpers"!
AROY's Tree of Blessings

"Magnify my soul..."
AROY friends
Fr Laurence with young people on Christmas

Inside the church on Christmas Eve
Icon of the Mother of God (on iconostas)
Nativity Icon on the south inside wall

Maranda Tipa, Anita Mirza & Erica Lucaci
Mos Craciun brings joy to the children
Annointing during the Christmas Eve Vigil

Hristos se Naste!
Christ is Born!
© 2005-2006  

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