Once a year, the choir rallies around the preparation of what is our highlight of the season: The Candlelight Service, held one or two weeks before Christmas. Extra rehearsals are called, work schedules altered, and the weather predictions are examined very carefully. Twice, since I have been at SouthWest, the Candlelight Service has been cancelled because of snow storms – once moved to a modified Christmas Eve Service, and the other time postponed to Epiphany Sunday, a week after Christmas.
The choir has been large, it has been small. We’ve had children playing instruments for the Christmas carols, and we’ve had the kids from the Alleluia choir singing their Christmas songs.
Who will ever forget the Candlelight with bagpipes? With Donald in full Scottish dress, drum strapped to his middle, beating the entrance.
Or the year we had Stephany, Lexy and Georgia leading the service.
Three girls then, three young women now.
I was going through old photos this summer, and found a picture taken in the basement before the first Candlelight I was part of. In the centre: Linda Dixon standing beside Roman… and Roman was shorter! A slight ten-year-old then, he’s now six feet four and twenty-two years old, and he’s played his violin at every Candlelight since. Linda moved to Toronto last spring, but she’s coming in on the train today – for a visit with friends to be sure, but most of all to sing with the choir for the Candlelight.
Octavio will be back this year, and I don’t think anyone can really remember when he came for the first time. Arielle will return for her second Candlelight, though everyone was reminded of her beautiful voice on November 5, just a month ago. Justin, our resident tuba player will be back to sing, and Katherine – who usually has Percy strapped to her middle! – will sing with us as well.
There are so many memories attached to this service, and so many more waiting to be added.
Come and join us for this year’s edition: December 17 at 4 pm.
Enjoy the music, feel the warmth of our welcome, and enter into the gentle spirit of Christmas.