For the 54th consecutive year, the youth and teens of Holy Trinity Church (East Meadow NY) presented the parish’s annual Christmas program on Sunday, 11 December. Incorporating scripture readings, liturgical hymns, traditional carols, and a stage filled with costumed children, the program proclaims the message of Jesus Christ’s Nativity. As part of the program, parishioners in attendance were encouraged to bring wrapped gifts which were delivered by the parish’s teen group to the Pediatric Ward at Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) following the program.
“It is an opportunity for our children to recognize the importance of sharing the joy of Christmas with kids who are sick and need to spend the Christmas season in the hospital,” said Valerie Eagen, program coordinator at Holy Trinity.
Heather Spanselner, NUMC Activities Coordinator noted Holy Trinity’s generosity is valuable for its patients, “We typically have 100 children who go through the various pediatric units during the month of December,” Ms. Spanselner said, “and Holy Trinity’s gifts are appreciated.”
Holy Trinity Church has a long-standing tradition of presenting Christmas programs and pageants. Many of the children in this year’s program are the sons and daughters of previous pageant participants. The program featured children presenting the Nativity account using scripture quotes and narratives, while others assembled a poster-sized image of the Christmas icon, featuring the Virgin Mary, the infant Christ child and other people mentioned in the biblical account. Children in costumes then created a ‘living Nativity icon’ on stage. With hymns and traditional carols sung between scenes, those in attendance were invited to sing along.
“The atmosphere of genuine Christian love and dedication to Jesus Christ through our Orthodox Faith was very apparent today,” said Father Martin Kraus, rector of Holy Trinity Church. “The children shared that love with those in the audience, and afterwards at the Pediatrics Ward.”
The NUMC pediatric unit consists of twenty beds in the general ward, six beds in the PICU. In addition, the hospital’s pediatric psychiatric wing and burn unit are available as needed. “With children at various stages of hospitalization, the gifts go a long way to brighten their spirits,” said Mrs. Eagen.
“Our church school classes have been focusing on the birth of our Savior, and learning about what it means to live as Christians,” said Father Martin, “The children discovered a lot about Christmas putting together this program, and I saw their anticipation for Christmas grow a lot stronger today!”
Founded in 1924, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is a community of Orthodox Christian people who come from all walks of life, gathering in the oneness of Faith to worship God through daily prayer, weekly services, and annual feasts. The parish also has a strong commitment to serving others – and particularly those in need whether in the parish or in the local community.
For more information, please call 516-483-3649, visit www.htocem.org, or in person at 369 Green Ave, East Meadow NY.