Sunday, December 22, 2019

Ward Christmas Program

Andrew was in charge of the church Christmas program this year, so he is rather happy today is over! He conducted the ward choir, played the organ for congregational singing, organized a men's choir and played the piano for them, organized a women's choir, and arranged to have the primary children sing. He also wrote out a script of sorts for the program explaining the four weeks of advent; the songs we sang today fell into one of four categories (1) hope and prophecy, (2) love and Bethlehem, (3) joy and shepherds, and (4) peace and angels.

Our little family were up and down like yo-yos the whole time, but that's alright because a lot of families were. That was the point: we wanted everyone who wanted to participate to be able to participate and not just from from their seats in the congregation. There's one thing about singing your testimony and worship from the pews, but getting up in the stand in front of everyone to sing your testimony is an entirely different feeling.

So, first the primary children went up and sang "Samuel Tells of Baby Jesus," a song about a Lamanite prophet (from the Book of Mormon) telling people in the Americas the signs of the Savior's birth. Zoë loves this song, so perhaps I can convince her to sing it on a recording.

Next the Relief Society and Young Women combined to sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Then Rachel, Miriam, and I sang "Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head" which you can hear below (though when we sang it we had an extra ukulele and a few extra voices; it wasn't just us). Originally the Young Women were asked to sing this but they begged to simply be combined with the Relief Society instead:



Then Andrew and Miriam played an organ/piano duet of "O Holy Night," which you can watch here:



Next, the Elder's Quorum and the Young Men sang "Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains" and then there was a piano duet by the Wolfert brothers, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear."

The choir then sang "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," with some lovely sisters playing the viola and violin with us (they were home visiting from BYU and their mom volunteered them for the task, so they played on borrowed instruments (my viola, for one; I'm not sure where the violin came from) and they great). And then we sang a medley of "Silent Night" and "Jesus Once of Humble Birth."

There were two congregational hymns as well, and I think it turned out very well.

Andrew is rather glad today is over! As enjoyable as a Christmas program is, there are a lot of working parts to bring together to pull it all off! I always enjoy singing Christmas music and am a little sad the season for it is almost over, but I'm happy for the music we got to sing to help us remember Christ's birth (and am super happy about the music my children learned and that my daughters got to sing with me). We'll keep on singing Christmas music until it starts making Andrew grumpy...

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