Sunday night was our annual church cantata and it’s always a moving experience for me. The weather was not nice, very rainy and nasty and our crowd reflected that but playing O Holy Night for the offertory like Margaret and I do every single year was simply very nice. There was a glitch with the lighting which was supposed to be dimmed when the actual cantata began but the ushers left them on bright – ugh!
After the cantata is finished, a candlelight service is held. Everyone is given a candle when they arrive and the ushers light the candles while the pastor speaks and Margaret and I play Silent Night. When all the candles are lit, everyone sings and follows someone in the choir who lifts their candle during the song. During the last verse the choir members walk out and circle the sanctuary. At the end of Silent Night, Pastor Lund gives the Benediction and then I give the introduction for “Let There Be Peace On Earth”. The church is dark with just candles, the Christmas tree, the piano and organ lights,everyone sings from their heart and the song echoes from the rafters and it nearly brings tears to my eyes.
Cheryl took this picture from the balcony which is a sight I’ve never seen before. I have been playing for this cantata since the mid to late 80’s — I think. I know I’ve played for roughly 57 Christmas programs in my lifetime. I am relieved this one is over, like all of them but they are all special. Now the pressure is off and I can enjoy Christmas. Just hum the tune and sing the words to “Let There Be Peace On Earth” while you immerse yourself in this scene. It’s a magical few minutes.