Tuesday, December 22, 2015

'Tis the season

Once again, Christmas is upon us. This is the first Christmas since 2010, that Grant and I are back in South Africa to celebrate. 

Of course, with Christmas season comes the annual Carol Service. On Sunday evening we attended the Methodist church carol service. This was held as traditional as possible, with children doing the Scripture readings, the congregation ( made up of people from the many, various churches in town) sang the carols together and the Methodist minister gave a short message. 

My photos aren't all that clear as I didn't want to use the flash (for obvious reasons) 
The older daughter of a prominent farming family read a lesson
Twin siblings from the same family shared another lesson. Isn't the little girl a stunner? And the boy reminded me of our own grandson, Joshua
One of two daughters of another prominent business family in town

Marquard is made up of an eclectic mix of people: white farmers and white, Sotho and Indian business owners who have been here for decades; families who work for the large feed-lot just outside town; retirees (these are many - especially widows); semi-retirees (like we are!) There are three prominent languages : Afrikaans, English and Sesotho which most people have a reasonable command of at least two of these. 
Every alternative carol was sung in Afrikaans
And several in English
We have a brass band from the township outside town who attended the service
 A young man from a neighboring town accompanied the congregation most ably

I was the church organist for this church for close on 12 years. The church organ is situated in the other corner of the church from the keyboard piano above. After the service I dragged Rina to the front of the church, opened up the organ and posed while she took a photo! 
I look as if I'd seen a ghost as I posed in front of the organ on which I accompanied the Methodist congregation for more than a decade
Rina and my sister-in-law, Celia gave me big smiles when I focused on them! 
Outside the church the brass band prepared to entertain us with several songs pertaining to Christmas
And then they marched out into the street and down to the Retirement center where there was an after-party

At the end of this video, crazy friend Myrtle ran her fingers across my viewfinder. I focused on her, greeted her and she answered (in Afrikaans) Hello, my love! 

There are few like an African to show the rest of the world what rhythm is! The young band members sashayed up the street to the beat of their music with the older women from the church coming up in the rear
Everyone digs in to hearty snacks after the 1 1/2 hour carol service

I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday here

Wishing you all a wonderful day! 


  1. a wonderful mix of folks in celebration. love the band and ladies! and noticed the pretty gate, too. :)

  2. Lovely shots. Wishing you and yours a peaceful Christmas.

  3. I enjoyed the Christmas program Jo. Your photos, video and narrative made me feel that I was right there with you. What a beautiful sunset night and the addition of the marching band and reception at the care home for the elderly made for a very special event. Merry Christmas!

  4. Hello, Jo! wonderful photos of the service! Lovely photos of you, Rina and your SIL! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  5. a true Christmas celebration and I like that it is multi cultural. Loved the greeting from Myrtle and the band.. i bet they could move down the road to those songs. Merry Christmas

  6. Hi, WELL---I learned something tonight that I did not know. I had no idea that you played the organ --and were the organist for a Methodist Church for years... I have been a Methodist all of my life ---and at one time, I did play the organ for a small Methodist Church... I was really a singer and pianist --but could play the organ (a little).... That is so neat!!!!! Thanks for sharing.

    The Lessons and Carols Service sounded wonderful. So glad you are in an area this year where you can experience this...

    Merry Christmas.

  7. Extra special for you to be there this year. Merry Christmas to all your family.


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