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Jamaican Christmas Traditions| 
UWI Carol Service 2019

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Jamaican Christmas Traditions | The Annual Carol Service
by Wellesley Gayle

jamaican christmas traditions - the coral- service | The University ChoraleThe University Chorale, masterfully directed by Mr. Franklin E. Halliburton

Christmas is certainly the sweetest time of the year here in Jamaica!

And season was ushered in Montego Bay, in style, last Sunday at The Annual Jamaican Christmas Carol Service, presented by the University Of The West Indies Mona and Western Jamaica Campuses.

Read Also: 14 Frequently Asked Questions About Jamaican Christmas Traditions.

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And while quite solemn and spiritual, it was a fantastic affair, which, from my paparazzi eyes, attracted several high profile members of the parish.

Dr. Patrick Prendergast, Director of the Western Jamaican Campus, indicated that it was a gift to the people of Montego Bay.

The event which featured bible readings and heavenly renditions of traditional Christmas carol favourites, was held at the St. James Parish Church in Montego Bay, St. James, under the theme, 'Festival Of The Nine Lessons With Carols'.

christmas_carol_service_uwi_singers_jamaica_christmas_traditionsThe Annual Christmas Carol Service by University Of The West Indies

These nine lessons, by the way, were 9 scriptures from the bible, all related to the coming of the messiah. Each was read by a student and followed up by a carol.

The service started with a powerful rendition of the processional hymn, "One in Royal's David City" with soloist Christena Richards and ended with recessional hymn, "Hark, The Heard Angels Sing" which included the congregation.

Other old time favourite Christmas song  that were sung include:

  • Hossana, The Bay Born
  • Oh Holy Night by Adophe Adam
  • Jesus, Oh What A Wonderful Child

The Highlight?

It was all good great, but if you poke me, I'd say that the highlight for me was the fifth lesson which was beautifully read in raw Jamaican Patois.

Read: Language of Jamaica

It was about how , 'The Angel Gabriel Saluted the Blessed Viring Mary', as told in St. Luke 1:26-33.

It was ably read by Mr. Andre Bernard who is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosphy at the UWI Mona Campus. 

The choir then followed up with a song, 'Mangificat', featuring soloist Mss Shana-Lee Brown.

Most of the items were in fact done by the University Singers & The University Chorale but also had solo presentations injected, featuring,

  • Ms Chritena Richards, 
  • Ms Shana-Lee Brown
  • Mr. Gavane Ferguson
  • Mr. Kester Bailey
  • Ms Ranice Barrett
  • Mr. Archie Dunkley 
  • and Ms Jashanah Spencer.

Wonderfully Executed

The service was moderated by The Venerable Justin Nembhard, Archdeacon of Montego Bay.

The Preacher was the Rev'd Devere Nugent of the William KNibb Memorial Baptist Church in Falmouth, Trelawny.

The organist was Mr. Archi Dunkley.

jamaican_christmas_traditions_carol_service_st_james_parish_churchSt. James Parish Church, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Be sure to also read my article on Christmas in Jamaica to learn even more about our Christmas customs and traditions here in Jamaica.

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Stay Tuned :-)

By the way, I have some of the clips and will be sharing them with you on my YouTube channel later, so stay tuned :-)

Update! I have the video now! Here is it below.

VIDEO! Christmas Carol Service Highlights

ALSO! Watch Fay Ellington Speaks On Old Time Jamaica Christmas Traditions

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  • UWI Choir Set The Mood For Christmas, The Western Mirror Newspaper

Other Pages Related To Jamaican Christmas Traditions

Return to Christmas In Jamaica from Jamaican Christmas Traditions Q&A

Return to My Island Jamaica from Jamaican Christmas Traditions

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About The Author

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

To date, he serves over 9,300 unique readers / viewers per day.

His efforts have earned this site featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities. Read more about him here.

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