The Coptic Christmas is observed in accordance with the Gregorian Calendar and takes place in early January. I was honoured to join the members of the St George Coptic Church for their Christmas Eve Church Service accompanied by Marrickville Councillor Morris Hanna.
In addressing the congregation I expressed my personal sentiments as to what I believe Christmas is about in our multi cultural society. Christmas whether celebrated on December 25 or in early January, is a special religious time for many and as a community and a country we must respect those beliefs. For those in the community who do not hold the same beliefs, Christmas should not be ignored or diminished it should be embraced. The Christmas ideals provides a time for family and friends to come together, and for communities to come together, to reflect on the year that was and the year that is coming.
My attendance also gave me the chance to express my condolences to the community on the passing of the Church’s leader, His Holiness Pope Shenouda the Third. A visionary leader of his church he will be remembered for the dedication and perseverance his displayed in building links of cooperation between faiths in difficult circumstances.
But looking forward the Church can be rightly pleased with his successor in His Holiness Pope Theodoros the Second.
As I said it was a privilege and honour for me to be include on this special occasion and I thank the Reverend Fathers and the Coptic Congregation for giving me that opportunity.