St.Johns and Chundikuli GC combined carols dazzle Jaffna | Sunday Observer

St.Johns and Chundikuli GC combined carols dazzle Jaffna

The beautiful church of St. John the Baptist located in Jaffna was the venue for the combined carol service of St.Johns College and Chundikuli Girls College, held recently. These two schools are the pioneer educational institutions of the Anglican Church of Ceylon in the Northern Province.

The schools have a rich Christian tradition of ceremonial worship and efforts have been taken to revive these Anglican traditions. St. Johns College was established in 1823 and Chundikuli Girls College followed in 1896. The carol service of these schools is a looked forward to by the Anglican community of Jaffna, as well as others who enjoy the yuletide atmosphere of blessed vocal harmony. The service this year was held under the auspices of Ven. Rev. Samuel Ponniah, Archdeacon of Jaffna.

In keeping with the Anglican traditions originating from Kings College, Cambridge the combined choir presented the processional hymn- Once in royal David’s city. The clear soprano voice of one student radiantly penetrated the church as the full choir joined in from the second verse. The girls attired in white sarees and the boys clad in full white with red ties enhanced the aura of Christmas within the church. The school flags were carried and placed beside the main altar.

A very commendable feat was the young organist Nuran Gomez who did an excellent job on the keyboards, presenting the deep musical strains of a traditional pipe organ- which this church did not have. The choir was trained by Harin Amirthanathan, who is the Choral Director of the Colombo Philharmonic Choir.

The kind efforts of these professionals from Colombo who volunteered their time to enrich the singing prowess of these Northern students is a reflection of Christs love of all mankind. The schools had practiced well in advance for this sacred rendition of nine lessons and carols, which was attended by a large number of Christian clergy, parishioners and past pupils. Individual items were also presented by the junior and intermediate choirs of both schools. The service concluded with the recessional hymn and popular -Hark the herald angel sings. The carol service was a genuine manifestation of worship, by these young boys and girls ushering in the yuletide spirit of Christmas to Jaffna.

By: Dishan Joseph

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