Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Carols with a Difference

We all know Christmas Carols, Carols by Candlelight and 9 Lessons in Carols. As a child I attended Christmas Trees (Christmas parties for children) which were organized by various clubs, church organizations or Ladies Societies in our area and held early in December.
Then a week before Christmas, it would be the church carols service in which children were dressed up as angels, shepherds, the Three Kings, Mary and Joseph and placed in the front of the altar rail while everyone sang Christmas carols.

All the instruments were transported from the church up the main street to the hotel

In our town these functions are always arranged by one of the other churches. This week our band decided to put on a Christmas Worship service whereby we would sing traditional Christmas Carols - with a difference. We went a step further and decided to hold the service in the beautiful gardens of the newly refurbished Hotel in town. This was a lot easier said than done. Our band consists of a lot of equipment, mostly fragile: three guitars, a keyboard and a set of drums. Then there are amplifiers, monitors, microphones and stands, music stands and a sound system. All these things are linked together with yards and yards of electric cable.

All hands on deck!
Lukas, the young soundman wires up the system with the help of the drummer (in red) and the worhip leader, while a backing vocalist practices harmonising on my keyboard
Nevertheless, after church yesterday, the band members all stayed behind and proceeded to pack up the instruments. Everything was loaded on/into pickup trucks and transported the 500 meters up the main street to the hotel. After unloading and carrying it by hand to the hotel veranda, we set it all up again. We were ready, and everyone dispersed for a quick lunch and freshen-up at their homes.

My husband and I spend some time together before the service

A glimpse of the many instruments and attachments which were brought from the church to the hotel for the service
We re-assembled at 4.30pm. After ensuring that all the technical requirements were met, we practiced our repertoire and we were ready for the evening. After the congregation enjoyed a light supper and coffee in the hotel’s beautifully decorated dining room, the people gather on the lawn and in the tea houses just beyond the veranda. Have you ever sung Silent Night to a double drum beat backed by a bass guitar? And O Holy Night with wind chimes and sleigh bells tinkling in time? Stirring stuff...

Christmas Carols with a Difference.

The end result and the congregation's response made all the organization worthwhile


  1. How fortunate you are to have live Christmas music! Hope the congregation was delighted.

  2. Yes, Dedene, you've just brought my attention to the fact that we actually had LIVE music for this occasion. Yes, everyone present enjoyed the whole evening immensely and like any live band we were asked to play an encore and then another. We responded with "O Holy night" again - it really is a special carol.Hugs Jo

  3. Hi Jo. it looks strange singing Christmas carols in the sunshine, but the message is the same the world over.It look as if it was a ggod day.
    best wishes

  4. Hi Peggy, lovely to "see" you again. I suppose it is strange for you to see sunshine along with photos about Christmas. I think that snow and dark weather goes better with Christmas - I believe Europe and the US is amazing when it comes to lighting up and decorating the cities. Thanks for popping in. Hugs Jo


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