It was a stormy night along the east coast of Australia, but that didn’t stop the crowds attending Carols by Candlelight at various SVD centres.
At Marsfield, in Sydney, the Multicultural Carols by Candlelight had to move from the lawns into the St Arnold Janssen Chapel and at St Maximilian Parish in Marsden, Brisbane, they were also moved inside – but in both cases, the show went on! St Mark’s Parish at Inala also showcased their multicultural singing gifts at their Carols, as did other SVD parishes and communities around the country.
Fr Mikhael Loke SVD, Rector of the Marsfield Community, told those gathered, that the Carols were a very special annual event for the Divine Word Missionaries.
“This is a very important event and also a very spiritual one,” he said.
“It brings us all together for Christmas and tonight we’ll reflect on the spiritual meaning of Christmas.”
Fr Mikhael invited people to enjoy the carols, but also to take some quiet prayerful moments of reflection.
“The message is, to sit in the quiet while you listen to the songs and ask, ‘what does this song say to me, and what can I take away when I leave this place tonight?’
“What is God saying to me. What can I do for the Lord and for my brothers and sisters?”
Among the groups taking part in the carols were choirs and musicians from a range of different cultural backgrounds.
They included the Bible and Breakfast Group and SVD Lay Group, St Anthony’s Parish Choir from Marsfield, the Handmaids of the Lord and Genesis Bible Study Group, the Epiphany Community, the Chinese Community, the Holy Trinity Community, Vietnamese Group, Indonesian Youth Adult Choir, Angkdung Indo Sydney, and of course, the SVD and Holy Spirit Sisters.
The evening finished, as is now traditional at the SVD Marsfield Carols with a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, sung by the whole community with each verse in a different language and the final verse shared in English.
PHOTOS: All the multicultural joy of Carols by Candlelight in Marsfield (top right and ,iddle left), St Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Marsden (bottom right), and St Mark's Parish Inala (bottom).