The Candles of Christmas
November 29, 2016 at 10:48 AM
‘Candles symbolise the light of God coming into the world through the birth of his son, Jesus. It also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God’s grace to others.’
All those who gathered at the Holy Trinity Cathedral last night were welcomed by The Very Reverend Jo Kelly-Moore, Dean of the Cathedral. Principal, Ms Juliet Small, then greeted the families of the girls and the preschool students before Reverend David Smith gave the call to worship.
Year 7 student, Sharmaine Tapling opened the readings, setting the theme for a service focussed on the ‘Candles of Christmas’. Year 7 student, Vivian Pettigrove continued with ‘Christians throughout history have used candles to symbolise God’s presence with us and to enlighten our worship. In recent years, we have seen the growth in the importance of light as a sign of remembrance.’
The nine candles that were lit throughout the evening, represented some of the special Saint Kentigern values that the students studied in Christian Education this year. As the service unfolded, the girls lit each candle, explaining the importance and representation of each one. A Candle for love; showing compassion for other people and being a trustworthy friend.
A Candle for Patience and Tolerance; this would help make our world a better place. A candle for Kindness; these people only see the best in everyone and they are seldom critical of the mistakes or actions of others.
The fourth, a Candle for Generosity; perhaps generosity is your special gift? A candle for Loyalty; loyalty is a very real virtue and loyal people are hard to find. If we can be trusted in the little things, then we can also be trusted with great responsibilities too.
A candle was lit for Humility; those people who are humble always show consideration for others and their attitude is always gentle and kindly. During ‘Silent Night’ the preschool students made their way up on stage. They sang 'You make the Whole World Smile', along with their teachers. As the service continued, with Dr Michael Jenkins on the organ and piano, the girls progressed through their readings and songs, to deliver a message of finding peace and love at Christmas time.
Head Girl, J’adore Harris-Tavita, alongside her mother Mrs Tavita, spoke about the seventh candle. J’adore said, ‘This Christmas we tell of the birth at Bethlehem. The birth of a special baby was the hope of the world, as we remember and celebrate this birth, we have hope for our world today. We light this candle for Hope.’ A candle was then lit for Joy; the angels told the shepherds of the gift of Joy – the birth of the baby.
The girls prepared gifts for the Dingwall Trust and these were presented during the service. As the gifts were brought forward, School Council Leader, Charlotte Koerber, said ‘As we celebrate the birth of Jesus tonight, let us reflect for a moment on what Christmas really means. We wish to show our grateful thanks for the light and brightness in our lives. We hope that the gifts that we place around the tree tonight will bring some light and love to those in our wider community.’ The ninth and final candle was lit for friendship.
As the Choir sang ‘All Through the Night’, the Year 1 students came down the aisle in pairs to create a nativity scene at the front of the church. The ‘three wise men’ following on to present their gifts to the ’New Born King’.
Reverend David Smith gathered students, teachers, the Chairman of the Trust Board, Dr Bruce Goodfellow and its members from the audience, to create his own nativity scene. This included Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, Shepherds, the three wise men, Angels, cows, sheep, Dr Goodfellow as the Christmas tree and Santa. As the nativity scene went on, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus pushed further into the background.
Reverend Smith said, ‘Don’t forget the baby! The reason for the season. In amongst all the presents, food, celebrations and the holidays, let’s remember what Christmas was originally all about; the birth of Jesus the Christ.’
With the service coming to an end, Deputy Head Girl, Nieve Campbell, said the Year 8 prayer, and then the Year 8 students came forward to receive their Leavers’ Candle from, Ms Small and Mrs Dobson. This is a poignant moment for the girls and their families as their time at the School has come to an end.
The congregation sang ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ as the girls lined up at the front, to lead out of the church ahead of our guests.
We give thanks to Mrs Nicola Brown, Dr Michael Jenkins, Mrs Janine Bennett, Mrs Wendy Beasley and Mrs Judith Dobson for their work in preparing this service with the girls.
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