On Sunday, 12th January, 2014, the church was full of guests and visitors, some from overseas.
“The singing was beautiful”, – sharing his opinion participations.
The joy was evident. Steve Najda of Najda’s Foodstore very generously donated all the drinks for the dinner. It was a substantial donation as about 150 people packed into the parish hall. It is part of the Ukrainian tradition that all carollers get a refreshing drink when they visit a home.
The singing of Christmas carols in the Ukrainian community has ancient roots. In Ukraine and elsewhere, our faithful have been visiting each other’s homes during the Christmas period for probably as long. In Ukraine today and in many places in the diaspora many groups, even in the same parish, still visit the sick, the shut-ins, and all families with greetings of good cheer.
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But in the diaspora, and especially in Australia, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone to get a group of carollers to visit people’s homes!
About seven years ago, the Geelong parish recognized this problem. People simply were not being visited at their homes at Christmas. Genia Kaminskyj who was then the Parish President, organized Christmas carolling in the parish church and those who wanted to, came bringing along the elderly and sick to the church for carolling and a meal. Many choirs came from across Victoria to sing at the parish church.
A particular need has created a new tradition, a new way of doing things. It works in Australia as evidenced by the fact that Perth, Ardeer, and North Melbourne parishes have picked up on what started in the Geelong parish seven years ago and are creating their own tradition.