A Wonder-filled Carol Service

December 18, 2023 at 3:09 PM

The magnificent Holy Trinity Cathedral inevitably evokes awe from any visitor who enters its grandeur. Serving as one of Auckland’s most splendid edifices, it provided an ideal backdrop for our Carol Service titled ‘A Wonder-filled Christmas’. 

Marking a noteworthy first, our Kapa Haka group inaugurated the ceremony with performances of Tōia Mai and He Aha Te Hau. Subsequently, departing Year 8 student and piper Liam Jarvis delivered an attention-grasping performance directly beneath the illuminated cross, drawing attendees’ focus to a central point within the church.

The service continued through the retelling of the Christmas story by narrators from all year groups, acted out by Year 3 students. Interwoven through the story, guests stood to join various ensembles in singing carols. College Chapel Prefect Catalina Addis joined the service to lend her talent, singing a stirring rendition of O Holy Night.

Chaplain Reverend Reuben Hardie delivered a memorable and important message heading into a season that can be incredibly busy. Following the theme of the evening, his message ‘Treasure like no other’ asked the very important question: What fills boys with inexpressible joy most in this world? To which he answered (based on his experience with four sons of his own) – food!

He encouraged, “I don’t want you just to have full bellies this Christmas, I also want you to be filled with a sense of wonder. A very special thing happened on that first Christmas that ever since has filled our world with wonder. That God would send his only son to be born in a stable.”

Reverend Hardie then offered the boys three treasures – joy, peace, and gratitude – exhorting that if they could wrap their hearts around those words, they would have a wonder-filled Christmas. It seems we can never have enough joy, peace, or gratitude in our current world, and to demonstrate the insatiable appetite we have for these treasures, the Reverend invited one very lucky boy to eat as much pavlova as he liked for the duration of his message. The delighted and sticky pavlova-covered face will be an image that will no doubt stick in attendees’ minds well into the Christmas season.

Throughout the evening, we know that the music, performances, carol-singing, and encouragement from the Reverend drew out wonder and awe in all who came. As the Year 8s lit their leavers’ candles and proceeded out of the cathedral, we were reminded to go forth in joy, be peacemakers, and continue to foster deep gratitude for the abundant blessings in our lives.

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