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It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

November 24, 2015 at 3:40 PM

The joy of the festive season was ushered in last night with an evening of song, prayer and worship at the Boys’ School Carol Service. The Holy Trinity Cathedral was standing room only full of students, family and other members of the Saint Kentigern community eager to participate in this treasured Christmas tradition. The guests were greeted at the door by groups of boys and welcomed into the impressive venue by tunes played by student musicians.

The first song, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, was introduced with a solo by Year 7 student Cameron Dean, before the whole congregation joined in. Cathedral Reverend Tony Surman and Principal Mr Peter Cassie welcomed the carollers, especially those there to support the Year 8 boys when they light their leavers candle and receive their blessing. ‘We are thrilled to share this rite of passage,’ said Mr Cassie.

The first reading was by Head Boy Michael Hiddleston followed by the Performers’ Choir singing ‘African Crib Carol’. As has become tradition, the second reading was by Michael’s mother, Dr Phillipa Hiddleston. After sitting patiently in the front rows, it was the junior boys’ turn to sing, with a rendition of ‘Three Wise Men’. The boys had come to love this tune, singing it at every opportunity, and it showed in their stirring performance. Two long-serving staff members who are leaving at the end of the year, Mr Dominic Yates and Mrs Janet Harvey, did the next reading, before everyone joined to sing the classics ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Away in a Manger’.

The full contingent of staff then took to the altar to sing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, which was then outshone by the youngest Saint Kentigern students, our preschoolers singing ‘Come On Ring Those Bells’! The boys who are transitioning to Year 1 at the Boys’ School next year chimed bells to accompany the words and their schoolmates performed the actions. A beautiful solo by brothers Oscar and Leo van Druten led the congregation into the next hymn ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’.

A highlight of the service each year is the message from Reverend Reuben Hardie, which always has a poignant theme related to the spirit of Christmas. This year the theme was ‘Strawberry Moments’ and Rev Hardie was accompanied on stage by a student feasting a huge pile of sumptuous strawberries! The message started with the tale of a boy who was being chased by a tiger through a forest. When he came across a cliff, he grabbed a vine and jumped to avoid being eaten. However, waiting in the gully below was another tiger. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, two mice started to gnaw on his lifeline, the vine. In his moment of despair, the boy spotted a single strawberry growing on the cliff face. He grabbed the strawberry and ate it slowly, savouring the delicious fruit. Rev Hardie explained when you are faced with challenges, it is important to take the time to enjoy life’s little moments. Christmas, which brings with it time to share with family and friends and rejoice in the birth of Christ, is one of the best opportunities to do this!

Chapel Prefect Flynn Cornelius-Gilbert then led the Prayer of Saint Kentigern before the Year 8 leavers and departing staff members lit a candle and received their blessing. The occasion was a fabulous way to start the celebration of Christmas and send the Year 8 cohort out with our best wishes. 

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