Jamaican Christmas Traditions | The Annual Carol Service
by Wellesley Gayle
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.
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'.
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:
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,
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.
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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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.
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