On Tuesday the 3rd of December, St. Mary’s Nativity parish celebrated the feast of St. Barbara, which was a resounding success. The evening commenced with a Great Vespers for St Barbara, St. Juliana, and St. John of Damascus.

The service was particularly special because we had an overwhelming number of children from our parish attend, dressed in a costume of their choice. This reminds us of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven”.

After the service, the children and their families gathered together in the hall for a costume parade, where close to 100 children had dressed up in their best outfits! The children were excited to show their costumes to the wider Parish community and receive their gifts. Parents were able to take a break and to enjoy some delicious fasting dishes prepared by the Ladies Group of our parish, including sweets, and wheat (amah) dishes, as per the customs of many of our parents.

While parents enjoyed the outdoors and the sunset, our youth president, Loulou, provided the children with an engaging recount of the story of St. Barbara. She also spoke about the significance of the costumes they were wearing. The children were deeply fascinated to learn why they were dressed up, when she explained how St. Barbara disguised herself as many different characters to avoid the Romans who were looking to persecute her.

Overall, the evening was a beautiful celebration of the life of St. Barbara, our faith, and the children of our Parish. We hope that each year we will be able to offer a better occasion in honour of the Great Martyr and to encourage our young children how brave we can be for Christ!