By Chris Meehan
The Kingston branch held a large Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 19. Ushers estimated that 300 people attended the ecumenical service, put on by the 30-member branch.
“In previous years we held the service in the high school performing arts hall where we normally meet, which can hold 100 people,” says Kevin Rodriguez, one of the organizers of this year’s event. “But it’s been on our hearts to share the experience with more people.”
There was no shortage of space in Kingston’s 100-year-old Holy Trinity Cathedral, site of this year’s service, which the branch put on in collaboration with members of the cathedral parish. Kingston’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Donald James Reese offered a welcome to the crowd.
Branch member Sam Davis gave one of several reflections during the traditional pre-Christmas service, which includes a series of reflections and Scripture readings interspersed with Christmas hymns. “The new people I encountered were very, very happy to be there,” he said.
Three guest instrumentalists from a nearby home for boys added saxophone, flute and clarinet to the usual bass, drums and guitar in the branch’s music ministry, and another guest played the keyboard.
Branch members pitched in to promote and prepare for the event. “I handed out flyers at my church. I also brought along family members and they loved it,” said Dorothy Over.
“The event put us in the mood for Christmas by reminding us what it’s really all about,” added Dawn Keaveny..
Holy Trinity’s pastor has already invited the branch to host the event again in 2011.
John Jerackas Jr. says:
January 7th, 2011 at 3:08 PM
I think that was awesome,300 people,incredible,some people may be interested in joining/finding out more about the People of Praise.All branches should hand out fliers at their respected parishes.
Carmen Fraa says:
January 7th, 2011 at 3:15 PM
God is moving! Alleluia! Thanks for the article and photos. That was good to see and it's so wonderful when our branches can work together to do an event for the world to see. Blessings in the New Year to all of you!
Connie Schrandt says:
January 7th, 2011 at 5:19 PM
Way to go Kingston!! I wish I could have been there to hear Christmas carols with a Jamaican sound.
God bless us everyone.
Joni springer says:
January 8th, 2011 at 8:55 AM
Wow! What a wonderful turnout. This blessed me so.
Thanks for all your service. You've touched so many!
Continue, your doing something right...
Nanci Panos says:
January 8th, 2011 at 2:36 PM
Wow! How so very cool! I hope I can go next year! Would love to be a part of it! PRAISE GOD
January 9th, 2011 at 2:20 AM
That was the work of the Holy Spirit. First time at the Cathedral- awesome! I wish I was there to bask in God's love through all of you, the music, singing and scripture readings. It's a new day for the People of praise mission branch! Please keep the momentum going - prayers, fliers, word of mouth and announcements at masses. The people are coming and I'm very happy and will continue to pray as I know you are doing.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
Thomas Duddy says:
January 11th, 2011 at 1:50 AM
God bless the Kingston brothers and sisters! Putting on Lessons & Carols with only 30 people in your branch is a great accomplishment. I know the work, talent and practice it takes. I'm sure you have some wonderful musicians and vocalists. Keep up the great work of the Lord, proclaiming his marvelous deeds!
Karen Heintzelman says:
January 12th, 2011 at 2:28 PM
I love & miss all you Kingston branch members. I wish I could have heard your wonderful music because I enjoy it so much! May God continue to bless you.
Kim & Bruce Doffing says:
January 12th, 2011 at 6:47 PM
We give Glory to God for you dear brothers and sisters!
Bless those 300 people attendees. Open their eyes to the gift of committed life in the Lord! Open their hearts to People of Praise! All praise to God!
Margaret Sak says:
February 16th, 2011 at 7:23 PM
Wow! GO KINGSTON!! Hello to you all and much love,
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