The Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ, led by founder-director Peter Low, poses for a photo with Anglican Bishop Rennis Ponniah and Rev Canon Terry Wong after the choir’s Christmas concert at St Andrew’s Cathedral.

By Christopher Khoo and Jared Ng

O what a night!

And it certainly was as the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ put on a special Christmas concert at the Anglican St Andrew’s Cathedral on Dec 3.

According to the choir’s founder-director Peter Low, he and Rev Canon Terry Wong of St Andrew’s Cathedral agreed that it would be a good idea to have an ecumenical celebration to commemorate Christ’s birth.

A week later, the choir performed a similar concert at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, where it is based.

Before the start of the Dec 3 concert, which had the theme, O What A Night!, Canon Terry, the cathedral’s vicar, prayed an opening prayer. He also prayed the Lord’s Prayer, which saw the congregation, which included Anglicans and Catholics, joining in.

As is the norm for its Christmas concerts, the choir sang a vast array of Christmas carols ranging from the traditional to the modern, and in many different languages. The children of the choir members also got into the act as they sang several solos.

At the end of the concert, Anglican Bishop Rennis Ponniah thanked the choir for their gift of music. He prayed for peace and happiness to prevail in the world and gave the benediction.

People Catholic News spoke to said they enjoyed the celebration.

Mr Andrew Tay, 51, an Anglican who attends the Light of Christ Church in Woodlands, said he found it “very uplifting”.

His wife, Ing Chi, 45, shared that she was quite impressed with the choir’s singing of carols from different countries.

And how did they feel about a Catholic choir singing in an Anglican cathedral?

“The Anglicans and Catholics are quite close in our liturgical worship,” said Mr Tay. “But we are all one in the family so I thought it’s a good way to really worship as one body.”

The concert was in aid of St Andrew’s Mission Hospital and the Singapore Anglican Community Services.

Family togetherness

The choir performs A Chinese Christmas Cradle Song during the Dec 10 concert at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

There was an added element to the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ’s Christmas concerts this year – families with children and married couples singing in the choir were introduced to the audience to showcase how music can bring people together.

This was a highlight of the Dec 3 concert as well as the Dec 10 one, held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, and titled Why This Jubilee?

The guest-of-honour at the Dec 10 celebration was Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam. He was joined by heads of diplomatic representations in Singapore.

Just as in the concert at St Andrew’s Cathedral, the choir entertained with a wide repertoire of songs including popular Christmas carols such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel and Silent Night.

The choir also performed a choreographed medley of carols from various countries which showcased the many cultural interpretations of Christmas.

As a symbol of peace and harmony between nations, a segment during the concert saw the diplomats decorate a sculpture, called the Tree of Peace, with miniature flags of their country.

Proceeds from the concert went to the cathedral’s Social Mission Fund. 

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