“Diyawanna Naththal Gee Mihira - 2008” was celebrated on the 23 rd of December with the customary fanfare and celebration. This year there was a difference in the order of the service. Instead of having the Carol service at the main building of the Hon. Speaker’s residence, it was shifted to the main stage, which was a better presentation.
The first item of the service was the blessing of the Hon. Speaker’s residence with the sprinkling of holy water by Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis the Archbishop of Colombo who was the chief guest. Then came the opening procession. The alter servers, the priests, Hon. Speaker and the Archbishop came in procession. Then the service started with a commentary by Rev. Fr. Benedict Joseph. The relevant Bible readings were read with the singing of ‘Aramben Pera’, a landmark hymn written by Fr. Jacome Gonsalvez and the singing done by veteran singer Mr. Ivo Denise & the group.
Rev. Fr. Saman Maximus chanted the gospel narrative of the nativity of Child Jesus. It was then that the live crib wended its way to the stage to the beating of ‘Magul Bera’ and the ‘Ves’ dancers. This was indeed a very colourful moment of the religious service. Just after the live crib approaching the stage, the chief guest Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis gave his Christmas message and the Christmas blessing. As customary, this year too there was the presentation of the special Christmas publication to mark this occasion. Once again, Rev. Fr. Benedict Joseph presented his book titled “Mosasi Perera Mahimi”. Up to date three special books have been published to mark this event. With that, the first part of the programme of “Diyawanna Naththal Gee Mihira - 2008” was finished paving the way open for the second half of the programme, namely the presentation of Christmas Carols.
The carols were presented by many groups representing their respective establishments such as the Associated Newspapers Limited, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Independent Television Network, etc and were supplemented by other choir groups. For the first time a choir comprising of the children of parliament staff members also performed. They were trained by Mr. Rajitha Gamini Wijesekara of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.
The evening was graced by the Hon. Speaker, First Lady Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, several Members of Parliament and other dignitaries while the staff of the Parliament Secretariat were also present.
It is commendable that this particular event held at the Hon. Speaker’s residence with the invitation of Hon. Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara has really grown, meaning of it well expressed and the spirit of Christmas introduced prior to the real celebration of Christmas.
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