Reviewed by Chaniru Senhas (Web Content Team)
Annually, Trinity College, Kandy, celebrates the beginning of the Church year with tremendous fervour; unfolding the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a spiritual pilgrimage to welcome Christmas.
Integrated with music, insightful biblical lessons demonstrate gratitude to God. Blessed with months of preparations and meticulous planning, the Trinity College Choir is at the pinnacle of this revered event.
The heart and soul of TCK, the candle lit Chapel is a sight to behold as night falls. Choral singers of the choir, with candles in their hands, lead in a procession from the Principal’s bungalow, down the curvy drive to the Chapel. The gentle peal of the Chapel bell contributes to this ethereal ambiance.
Like every year, the Chapel ground was tastefully decorated with glowing clay-lamps representing The Star, on the green grass and, an enlarged creation of the illuminated manger by the pond. This creative interpretation brought the Nativity story to life. The beautifully curated display invited reflection and appreciation of the story of Christmas.
Symbolizing the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, the cradle played a significant role in this celebration.
Light is symbolic of the banishment of darkness in both physical and metaphorical sense.
The choir and clergy processed from the West Door to the Chancel while “Once in Royal David’s City,” the processional hymn, opened the service. Then came the Bidding Prayer and the choir’s performance of “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” The hymn blended in with “All My Heart This Night Rejoices,” after a chorister read the First Lesson, which described God’s message to the sinful Adam about the loss of Paradise and the hope of salvation through his seed. As the choir began to sing “Veni Veni Emmanuel,” the congregation stood in reverence.
A College Prefect read the Second Lesson, which enunciated God’s promise to faithful Abraham and the blessing of all nations by his descendants. This lesson was accompanied by the hymns, “Dev Kumaru Ipadunu” and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”.
The singing of “See Amid the Winter’s Snow”, which the first verse was sung solo by a young chorister and the second verse was sung by an older chorister which was later followed by the soothing voice of an old boy chorister which was then later followed by a guest reading the Third Lesson, which contained an Isaiah prophecy of the birth and kingdom of Christ.
The Head Mistress of the Middle School, read the Fifth Lesson, while the Headmistress of the Junior School read the Fourth Lesson.
Readings of the sixth and seventh lessons were alternated between the Vice Principal and, the Co-Vice Principal.
Following the reading of the eighth lesson by the principal, Rev. Fr. Araliya Jayasundara OSB, the choir sang “Jesus Child.” The Bishop of Kurunagala read the last section of the ninth lesson. The biblical stories of the day then came to an end with the recessional “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”
The College Art Circle, under the direction of Mr. Saman Rathnayake and his team, made a pleasant visual contribution to this year’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, along with the teachers of the junior school who contributed much of their time towards the wonderous interior decorations inside the chapel.
After the much-anticipated dinner presented to the Trinity College Choir by the Principal, Rev. Araliya Jayasundara, and the choir thanking him for his generosity, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols for the year 2023, came to an end.