Boys' School Carol Service
December 03, 2013 at 10:30 AM
In this busy and chaotic season, as we build up to the end of the school year and start to focus on the holidays ahead, it is always a pleasure to stop for a moment and make time to enjoy the annual Boys’ School Carol Service, held in the grandeur of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. As the jazz band played, the boys, their families, staff and special guests, along with the children from the Preschool, filled the cathedral to capacity. Soloist, Desmond Yong opened the service with the first verse of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ before the congregation joined in.
In his opening words of welcome, Principal Mr Peter Cassie said that the service marked the beginning of the Year 8 leavers’ journey; a poignant time for the families as we prepare to finally farewell the boys in Year 8 as they move on to the next stage in their schooling.
Mr Cassie also welcomed graduating College student, Manase Latu as a guest soloist. Manase has become well known at the College over the last two years for his superb tenor voice and was recently singled out by the judges at the New Zealand Aria competition for his exceptional potential, awarding him the title ‘NZ Aria Most Promising Singer U21 Years.’ Manase joined the boys’ Performers’ Choir to sing ‘Sleep Holy Child’ and led the congregation in ‘O Holy Night,’ his voice beautifully amplified by the acoustics of the cathedral.
Each year the staff prepare an item to sing - this year, the upbeat ‘Midnight,’ however, it was the children from the Preschool and the Junior School boys who offered the ‘cute factor’ for the evening! The preschoolers came forward to sing ‘The Little Drummer Boy,’ with the boys who are moving on to the Boys’ School next year playing the drums. The Junior School boys, who had sat so quietly in full view throughout the service, stood to sing the ‘Donkey Song.’
Each year, Reverend Reuben Hardie develops a tableau on a Christmas theme, always a novelty that the boys look forward to but always with an underlying message. This year, a stable was brought forward, albeit a very small one, and a nativity scene was brought together – definitely a Boys’ School version! There was an oversized donkey and a sheepish Mary and Joseph but that’s where the resemblance to a traditional nativity ended as squawking chickens and cheeky monkeys started to fill the space. The shepherds paid homage to Fred Dagg and the Three Wise Men…well, as Reverend Hardie pointed out, as Year 8’s they had clearly outgrown the Christian Education dress up box! The angels, however, were very angelic! Just as there was no room at the inn and not much room in the stable on that first Christmas, this stable was bursting at the seams.
Reverend Hardie said that this reflected a common experience for many of us at Christmas time – not in terms of lack of physical space but that we often find there is not much room left in the calendar for any more events; not much room for unexpected guests or interruption; not much room in our heads for any more ideas or responsibilities; or, as most discovered on arrival, not much room to find a car park in this city of ours!
‘But what changed everything on that crowded first Christmas is that God created that unique moment in space and in time to send his son. Jesus was born in a crowded stable to help us make room in our lives for God because when we are able to make room in our hearts for God, then we also discover how we can make room for other things…like peace and family. We can discover ways of making room for people who are different from us and people who we don’t always get along with - and especially people who are in need of extra help and support. Because Jesus showed us that there is always room for compassion – there is always room for understanding – there is always room to show others that you love them and you appreciate them.’
At the end of the service, the Year 8 boys came forward to light a candle while the Performers’ Choir sang the Jubilee Blessing. Reverend Hardie said, ‘I want to tell you boys how special it is for us, as staff, and as your parents to see how much you have grown and how far you have come. We are so proud of you – and we are so excited about the future that awaits you. Go with confidence and humility and may you know God’s love all around you; God’s peace in your heart; God’s wisdom to guide you; God’s strength each day.’
The School offers thanks to Rev Tony Surman for his words of welcome and for hosting our service once again in cathedral and to the cathedral organist, Mr Philip Smith, for providing the accompaniment to our carols.
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