Cherry Hill, NJ – Once again, the community of Cherry Hill enjoyed its happiest celebration of the year – the “Children’s Christmas Pageant” (Χριστουγεννιάτικη Εορτή) on Sunday, December 18, 2022.
In this event, sponsored by the Sunday School, over 40 young boys and girls (many of preschool age) rendered a charming traditional depiction of the birth of Jesus Christ at the St. Thomas Orthodox Church of Cherry Hill.
The Holy Liturgy was celebrated by the V. Rev. Avgoustinos Psomas, parish Priest of St. Thomas. In addition, the distinguished visitors/co-celebrants, the V. Rev. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of America, who delivered the Sermon of the Day, and the V. Rev. Christoforos Oikonomidis, Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey, and supported by Fr. Florin Salgau and Deacon Joseph Edwards.
Following the Services, the children enthralled the full, “standing room only” Church by the faithful and the doting parents and relatives with their innocent play. Several children – far too many to mention here – notably read quotes from the Bible about the Birth of Christ.
In contrast, the other children enacted the formal events of the nativity as they were being read to the audience. They were appropriately attired as shepherds, midwives, angels, and wise men and depicted several animals. A special treat was young Valentina Stabilopoulos, who, carrying the Star of Bethlehem, received the audience’s applause as she sang her solo rendition of “The Virgin on This Day.” The event organizer, Kelly, guided them to their parts after posing for photos.
Following the joyful Christmas Pageant, the participants, their parents, and the remaining faithful enjoyed a great social hour at the St. Thomas facility, as always graciously served by the St. Irene Philoptochos Society of St. Thomas.
Crowning the social hour was celebrating the 40th Birthday of the V. Rev. Christoforos, beloved ex-parish Priest of St. Thomas. He called to his side Ms. Maria Pentakis, who was also celebrating her birthday – her 98th – and, along with the parish’s children, blew out the candles.