Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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Christmas Recital Pays Tribute To Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims

A Christmas recital featuring ten young and upcoming violinists from the Syriac Community, held at the Archdiocesan Complex in Teaneck, New Jersey, opens with prayers, poetry reading and candle lighting to commemorate the Connecticut school shooting at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty children and six adults innocently became victims of evil and murdered 9:30 early morning on Friday December14th. The program began with 26 candles being lit, one by one, by children and adults in attendance and an opening prayer offered by His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim. A moment of silence was followed by the singing of the Lord’s Prayer.

His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim told the packed Reception Hall, “as we mourn their death we also realize that evil still exists in the world and evil forces influence people to do evil things.” He continued, “Goodness has to abound and flourish and our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ become stronger during this tragedy.” The Archbishop consoled the young children in attendance and asked them to pray for the victims as well as their teachers, parents, brothers and sisters and be thankful for them.
His Eminence concluded thanking Elias Sarkar, the children’s violin instructor and also thanked the parents for all they do for their young ones. He reminded the children that they are blessed because they belong to a wholesome church community. He encouraged them that as they grow, advance and achieve more, to offer their musical talents to the service of our Holy Church.

At the conclusion of the recital, His Eminence presented the children with crosses from the Holy Land and Christmas gifts as a token of his appreciation.

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