BY JENNY KILJIAN
“This pageant would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our teachers, and the PTO—our school’s angels, without whom the school wouldn’t be the same,” said the Tavlian school’s director Helen Manoucherian. “We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and look forward to all the best that life has to offer in 2010.”
Throughout the day, the preschool held its Christmas pageants. At 5 p.m., the Kindergarten hantes began as two young girls dressed as angels, carrying candles, heralded the birth of Christ. Mary and Joseph then arrived on stage, carrying the baby Jesus. Soon they were surrounded by angels who told them that they should not be afraid, because their child was the Son of God and would not be harmed. A row of carolers joined the Holy Family in the Nativity scene and together they sang “Silent Night” in Armenian and English.
Proud parents and grandparents watched joyfully as their children sang and recited poems in both Armenian and English. Many were moved to tears by how well the youngsters had learned their parts, and remarked at how wonderful it was to see a new generation of Armenians speaking and singing in their mother tongue.
The Star of Bethlehem rose in the background to light the path of Mary and Joseph to safety, and to guide the Magi on their journey to find the Holy Family. Together, the chorus sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” The Magi arrived, delivering their gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the newborn Jesus, and together the kindergartners sang “We Three Kings” in English, as well as “Joy to the World” in English and Armenian to celebrate the birth of Christ.
The fabled Little Drummer Boy arrived at the manger to give his gift to the baby Jesus, and the chorus sang the song that recognizes the little boy’s most humble gift of playing his drum for the newborn King.
The chorus then sang “Khorhourt Medz (Oh, Great Mystery)” a joyous hymn of praise for Christmas Eve and Day from the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church. Afterward, one youngster recited a poem about the New Year, in which he delivered good wishes to “the hardworking, patient and loving Armenian families for this year and every year.” The chorus sang a song about New Year’s Eve and all its preparations and festivities, after which they sang “Donadzar,” about a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
As the pageant came to a close, Santa Claus arrived on his sleigh with gifts for all the youngsters, as the delighted parents took pictures of their youngsters with Santa Claus.