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Orthodox Christmas Carols in Melbourne

Orthodox Christmas carols at Festival Hall

Date: 22 December

Time: 5:00pm – 8:30pm

Venue: Festival Hall

Address: 300 Dudley St, West Melbourne

Cost: All are welcome to attend and entrance is free

Refreshments: Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase at the Hall.

Concert Presentation Programme: A variety of traditional Christmas Carols in Greek, English and other languages for all ages. This is a combined Christmas celebration for all Parishes and Communities in Melbourne.

Sponsor: Delphi Bank

Greek Christmas boat02

Brief Commentary about Event

For the 30th year running, the Second Archdiocesan District of Victoria and Tasmania of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is convening once again the Orthodox Christmas Carols Concert at Festival Hall in West Melbourne. Over the years this event has grown, developed, and in more recent times, slowly become a Pan Orthodox Christian event involving differing Eastern and some Oriental Orthodox cultural traditions. For many, this event has become a welcome respite and counter-cultural event to the usual commercialised and secularised Christmas carols that one is bombarded with in Australia around the time of Christmas. Many of the carols that are usually on offer to the wider public are steeped in emotional sentimentality or de-christianised content, that do not express true Christian thought or spirituality regarding the import of the Faith or the feast to which people are gathering to celebrate. For the Orthodox, the frustration is given greater weight since Christmas within the Australian context only revolves around the Feast of the Nativity or the worldly New Year, while ignoring the other 11 days of Christmas, especially the all important feast of Theophany. Within Orthodox Christian lands there are carols and dances that are specific to the various days of the feast of “Dodecaimeron” (the 12 Days of Christmas), varying in expressions according to regional customs. The Orthodox Christmas carols concert at Festival Hall often showcases these differing songs and dances that revolve around “Dodecaimeron”, which are often accompanied by liturgical hymns from the Church services of the 12 day feast.

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  1. The following is from a Neos Kosmos Article speaking about the carols that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese organises each year:

    Hark! Herald angels, and church groups, sing
    Archdioceses around Australia are preparing for Carols services this weekend

    17 Dec 2010
    Margaret Paul

    Greek Orthodox church groups will be opening their hymn books and their lungs at carols nights around the country this weekend.

    In Melbourne, Festival Hall will be filled with more than 2,000 people for the Archdiocese in Melbourne’s 27th annual Christmas Carols.

    A spokesperson from the Archdiocese said anticipation for the event was building.

    “It’s something we look forward to every year, it takes a lot of preparation and it’s a big deal,” she said.

    She said more than 40 communities and parishes from around Melbourne are invited to watch performances from groups such as St Andrew’s Theological College, Sydney; St John’s College, Preston; the Melbourne Archdiocese Choir and the Cypriot Choir.

    “All the priests get involved and all the communities, and everyone’s welcome,” she said, adding that the Russian Orthodox Choir will also be performing.

    “Because it’s not just about being a Greek carol night, it’s more about bringing the Orthodox community together,” the spokesperson said.

    “It’s more about unity than just being Greek.”

    Individuals and groups will sing a variety of songs, ranging from Ecclesiastical and Byzantine to more contemporary, in English and Greek, with bilingual narration.

    Sydney’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese presents Christmas Carols from 7pm tomorrow in the church courtyard, at 242 Cleveland St, Redfern.

    Light refreshments and snacks will be sold, and seating is provided, as well as space for blankets. There is no car parking on the grounds.

    Dr Philip Kariatlis from St Andrew’s Theological College, said he’s looking forward to the evening.

    “The beauty of these nights is you get different groups in the Greek Orthodox community, from different parts of Greece, and they will sing their traditional Greek Christmas carols,” he said.

    In Adelaide, the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA) also has their carols night tomorrow at the Olympic Hall in Adelaide.

    Theo Panagopoulos from the GOCSA said the event, which is over 20 years old, attracts more than 100 people.

    “But it depends on how busy people are,” he added.

    The carols, including Byzantine hymns, will be sung by the church choir, and backed up by a live band. Entry is free and there’s no need to book.

    Last night, a sell-out crowd of 500 people attended the St Timothy’s Christmas Carols evening at the Quarry Amphitheatre in Perth.

    Brisbane’s Carols by Candlelight was on Saturday 11 December at the Greek Orthodox Parish/Community of St George, in South Brisbane.

    Melbourne Archdiocese Carols – 6pm at Festival Hall, West Melbourne. Call 03 9696 2488.
    Sydney’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Carols – 7pm at 242 Cleveland St, Redfern.
    Adelaide Carols – 7pm at Olympic Hall, Adelaide.
    All events are free and there’s no need to book.

    Source: Neos Kosmos

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