Church Cantata

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!

The ambiance is missing!  Grrrrr!

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.

28 thoughts on “Church Cantata

  1. Peggy

    Oh, my Mary! How beautiful this must be. The pictures are great. I can never get through the first few lines of “Let there be Peace on Earth” before the tears are flowing. Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas to you & yours!

  2. Betty Klosterman

    When I write a comment, it goes in Central Time. We are in Mountain Time. Interesting?

  3. Judy

    What a beautiful service, it must be overwhelming to be a part of this. A perfect way to start your holiday. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Beryl Hoff

    Sounds like a beautiful service! Many Christmas songs bring tears to my eyes. Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate but looked like a fair crowd. I’m sure the service touched many. Great pictures! Merry Christmas!!

  5. Delores

    Mary, you have been a great “gift” all year with your wonderful handiwork and all the great pets. Thank you for taking the time to share. So appreciate you sharing your cantada comments and pictures. Would love to have been there. My husband and I sing with a “senior” chorus, visiting nursing homes and retirement centers, and our concerts always open with “Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let It Begin With Me”.

  6. Bonnie McKee

    Beautiful! Makes me wish I had been there singing in the candlelight with your congregation!
    Thank you for sharing, Mary!
    Merry Christmas!

  7. Carol

    What a nice start to the Christmas season. I have avoided all the ruckus of malls and piped in Rudolph and Frosty and all the other really nasty music that should not define our celebration. The secularization/ commercialization of the season that begins in October redirects our focus from the Baby and His message. Oh Holy Night, Let there Be Peace on Earth. Amen!

  8. Launa

    Mary…..Stunning to view the three cantata photos. Am thankful you shared the cantata with so many of us readers; I too felt like I was participating.

  9. MartyCae

    Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas.

  10. Marilyn

    Thank you for sharing, as we all know things don’t always go as planned. I know in your heart you made it so special. Merry Christmas and God bless you always. Marilyn

  11. Carol

    The last picture with just the candlelight would make such a beautiful Christmas card. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Joanne Kalahar

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment with us. Christmas for me will always be the church in Stuart (later burned by a madman) when my cousin began the notes Of O Holy Night. Still gives me shivers. Happy Christmas to you and all your family.

  13. Jane dumler

    I think the Christmas candlelight services are so wonderful and magical. a beautiful sanctuary?

  14. Jeanie from sw IL

    Great cantata pictures, Mary; it is a beautiful church. Your musical gift is a blessing, which you freely share. I wish you and Rick a very Merry Christmas!

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