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St Thomas Parish prepares for Christmas
Choir director John Kinder guides the St Thomas choir in song at The Road to Bethlehem Advent liturgy held on 7 December 2015 at the St Thomas the Apostle Parish, Claremont. Photo: Supplied
By Marco Ceccarelli
An evening of biblical readings, soul-stirring musical renditions and awe-inspiring images from the Fall to the Birth of Our Saviour…
This is how St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Claremont last week celebrated its Advent liturgy in preparation for Christmas.
Held on 7 December and titled The Road to Bethlehem, the popular event is now in its seventh year and continues to draw crowds of more than 300 people eager to enter into the Christmas spirit through reflection, art and music.
Opened with a prayer by Parish Priest at St Thomas, Father Wayne Davis, and featuring a program skilfully assembled by parishioner Tim Burrows, the liturgy featured nine readings narrating the story of Christian redemption.
As the tale of the downfall and redemption of mankind was read out, the evening was delightfully interspersed with a variety of carols taken from very early mediaeval Christmas music to songs written in more modern settings.
Performed by the talented voices of the St Thomas choir, the beauty of the songs was so infectious that members of the crowd soon became involved by singing along, with many feeling drawn into an experience that speaks to the true meaning of Christmas for our times.
Commenting on the event, coordinator Silvia Kinder spoke of the positive impact which The Road to Bethlehem is having within her parish and the authentic Christmas message it hopes to bring to those outside the Church.
“When advertising the event, we wanted to invite both people inside the parish and those outside it to enjoy this celebration of the history of the birth of Jesus,” said Mrs Kinder.
“It is wonderful to see how the liturgy is growing in popularity and slowly attracting more and more people each year. Given increasing lack of religious meaning given to Christmas, we hope that through this event we can be witnesses to what celebrating Christmas truly means,” she added.
Usually performed at the beginning of December each year, plans are in motion to keep The Road to Bethlehem alive as its organisers are already looking to the eighth rendition of a truly memorable event.
Given its success over the past six years, one can rest assured that next year’s liturgy is bound to be a resounding success.