The Suburban Vicariate’s fourth annual Christmas Concert, this year titled ‘A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ was presented to an almost full capacity auditorium at the Cipriani College Auditorium, Valsayn on Sunday, November 18. Through readings from scripture, reflections, music and dance, the audience was taken on a journey beginning with the fall of humanity with Adam and Eve, the promise of the Messiah, and culminating in the birth of Jesus—The Ultimate Gift.
The production was well organised and moved smoothly through the programme, aided by efficient stage management. The easy rapport of the two Masters of Ceremonies, Nicole Boodhan-Thomas and Dese Simon, provided appropriate commentary and warmed the audience into an appreciation of the lessons and pride in the performances from the parishes comprising the Vicariate.
All of the lessons were read by principals of RC primary schools of the Suburban Vicariate and reflections thoughtfully and prayerfully prepared and presented by lay ministers of all ten vicariate parishes.
The solemnity of the readings and thought-provoking reflections stretched the audience to open up to their meaning and embrace the implications for contemporary life. The hours of preparation were evident in the costuming and exquisite rendition of carols that followed and, as beautiful music often does, each performance carried the message straight to the hearts of the audience.
It was evident that the parishioners of the Suburban Vicarate all gave generously of their time and exceptional talents. The youngsters from St Joseph Boys’ RC School rivalled the Vienna Boys’ choir in their rendition of ‘Joy to the World’, and the young female voices of the St Joseph RC Church Youth Choir evoked the clarity and peace of the Chinese composition, ‘Clear and Calm the Night’. The differently abled sang and played instruments—fully integrated into parish performances.
The audience joined in the call to ‘Come Let Us Adore Him’ as we sang three carols, each time a little more confidently, smiling at each other, feeling the camaraderie and blessing of all belonging to the Suburban Vicariate.
Vicar of the Suburban Vicariate, Fr Gerard Tang Choon O Carm, and the organising team, comprising the staff of the Suburban Vicariate Office and members of the Vicariate Pastoral Council and Youth Council, were justifiably proud. – Denyse Johnson, parishioner of Holy Cross RC Santa Cruz