The Armenians of Iskenderun celebrated Christmas on Sunday evening, January 5, 2020 with an Eucharistic celebration held at the İskenderun Karasun Manuk Armenian Church.
In his sermon Father Avedis Tabaşyan, the parish priest spoke about the meaning of Christmas. He said that every challenge can be overcome with love. Father Avedis Tabaşyan said: “People are afraid of being loved, because they don’t consider themselves worthy of being loved! They are afraid to think, as it will bring responsibility! They are afraid to criticize and afraid to express their feelings because they are afraid of rejection. People are afraid of getting old because they do not appreciate youth. People are full of fears. They do not know that all fears would perish with love. Active love cancels all fears. God sent his begotten son to earth because he loved us. Let us believe and say to him: ‘Thanks to you, we have overcome fear!’
Stop and think what you have lost in 2019. Many of us have lost their loved ones, many of us have lost their souls, many of us have lost our close friends. Why? Question this.
May the Lord Jesus Christ touch your hearts today and illuminate you with his light. May His birth be combined with renewal in your heart. Let us be not afraid anymore. We have a God who always loves and embraces us and has a love affection on us. If you know the Lord, you know that you will live with Him. The Lord Jesus Christ came to bring life to the earth. I congratulate you all. May the Lord strengthen us.”
Father Avedis Tabaşyan cut the Christmas cake together with the president of the Armenian Foundation Garbis Kısadur and Orthodox Church Foundation President Can Teymur.
The ritual of the baptism of Jesus Christ was accomplished by a representative immersion of the cross in water at the end of the celebration. The members of the congregation kissed the cross immersed in water one by one,.
Garbis Kısadur, the President of the Armenian Foundation made a short speech before cutting the cake and said: “Today is Christ’s birth and baptism day. I hope that this feast may bring health and well-being for all of us and peace and tranquility to our entire world and our country. ”
As every year, Santa Claus gave gifts to the little children after the celebrations.