Christmas was celebrated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. on Tuesday (22 December), connecting virtually with a cross section of the Sri Lanka community in the Greater Washington area. The main programme conducted at the Embassy along with the choir, was joined through zoom by individual families from their homes and also members of the Hope Community Church, Arlington, and the Calvary Church in New York.
The programme began with a prayer by Rev. Dilantha Arachchilage from the Hope Community Church. He emphasized the importance of Christmas in that it brings everyone together in a sprite of peace, harmony, and togetherness transcending ethnic, religious and geographical barriers, even more valuable in these troubled times. He commended the efforts of the Embassy in bringing the community together to celebrate Christmas, notwithstanding the difficulties imposed by the COVID pandemic. Rev. Dilantha who invoked the grace of God on the Sri Lankan community, while Rev. Ranjan Siriwardena, presented a reading from the Holy Bible and blessed the Community.
In his remarks Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha while extending wishes for Christmas and the New Year, appreciated the support received by the Embassy in ensuring that Christmas was celebrated despite the difficult situation. He said such ceremonies in addition to being a recognition of Sri Lanka’s diversity and multi-religious character, also helped particularly keep the younger Sri Lankans in touch with the rich cultural practices of their homeland. He pledged that the Mission will host similar events to commemorate Thai Pongal, Wesak, and Ramadan as well in the future. Adding that Christmas emphasized the art of compassion and giving, the Ambassador asked that everyone have in their thoughts, that this year there are many families in the USA and all across the world, who might be having an empty chair at the Christmas table.
The members of the Embassy Choir presented Christmas Carols, which included both Sri Lankan and international Christmas songs which were well received. A special solo singing was presented by Mrs. Anjalika Silva in English, while Ms. Hepsiba from New York Calvary Church recited a song in Tamil, bringing a festive mood to rekindle a truly Christmas atmosphere.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
24 December 2020