Carol Service

Posted: 10th December 2015

We join together

Our Carol Service this year was on Monday 8th December in Ealing Abbey.  All girls, from Lower I to Upper VI, staff, parents and past pupils joined us in our annual celebration of Advent.

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Before the Carol Service commenced we held a reception at St Augustine’s Priory for guests, among who were Governors and past pupils.  The reception was held to the accompaniment of seasonal music on the piano and some delicious refreshments prepared by our caterers, Holroyd Howe.  During the reception past pupils were able to contribute to the ‘A Stitch in Time’ project by adding their stitches to our embroidery project for kneelers in the Chapel.  After the reception several of our guests joined us in Ealing Abbey for the Carol Service, which was packed, as always.

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The Carol Service commenced with a candlelit procession of gigantic puppets representing the Nativity figures followed by the choirs and Chapel Singers singing ‘Holy Child’.  The puppets and puppeteers’ procession had been organised by Mrs Murphy, Drama Department, Miss Eng, Acting Head of Art and the Puppet Coordinator, Mari Phillips, Upper IV Alpha, who had produced a spectacular and awe-inspiring display.

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After this we were delighted that Fr Thomas from Ealing Abbey gave an address and said an opening prayer and then Billie Morrison, Head Girl, read from the book of Isaiah.

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The Director of Music, Mr Patrick Martin, and the members of the Music Department had put together a programme of familiar and not so familiar carols.  We all joined in with the familiar from ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, to ‘O Come, all ye faithful’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’.  The not so familiar included ‘Mater Ora Filium’, ‘As I outrode this enderes night’ and ‘Personent Hodie’.  The Chapel Singers, Junior and Senior, and Choir delivered these carols exquisitely with soloists singing sweetly and harmonies abounding.  The orchestra played throughout the evening as a wonderful accompaniment and special mention must go to Dr Higgins, Music Department, who alternated between organ and piano playing with great accomplishment!

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The readers performed with a clarity and enthusiasm that was a delight to hear and the readings and carols interweaved with a seamlessness that allowed all present to enjoy the service with its telling of the Nativity story through words and music.

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At the end of the service Fr Thomas read from John, Chapter 1 and gave a blessing to the congregation.  Mrs Raffray, Headteacher, spoke movingly about this year’s Christmas charities, HCPT, the Pilgrimage Trust, which offers pilgrimage holidays to Lourdes in the south of France for disabled and disadvantaged people and StreetInvest which works to improve the lives of street children around the world.

The 2015 Carol Service was a wonderful event, both musical and moving, which brought us all together, raising our voices, to welcome the birth of Christ.

(The photographs of the Carol Service are courtesy of Jeeba Marri, Upper VI).

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