The Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ led by Sir Peter Low performing its Away in a Manger concert on Dec 16.The Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ led by Sir Peter Low performing its Away in a Manger concert on Dec 16.

Diplomats from 28 countries, along with Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, placed decorations on a Christmas tree during a concert at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd recently.

They then sang Let there be Peace on Earth together with the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ.

The special guests were among 800 people who attended the Dec 16 choral concert titled Away in a Manger.

A huge parol, a star-like decoration, set up by the Filipino community outside the cathedral.A huge parol, a star-like decoration, set up by the Filipino community outside the cathedral.The first half of the two-hour concert featured Christmas music from well known composers such as Handel, Palestrina, Poulenc and Rutter. The traditional carol, Silent Night, was also sung in German.

In between the songs were Scripture readings and short prayers.

The second part of the concert featured a lively medley of carols from countries including Nigeria, India, Korea, Vietnam, Brazil and Venezuela, sung in the native languages. It was accompanied by dance movements.

Also present at the concert were Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Archbishop Nicholas Chia and Anglican Bishop Rennis Ponniah, who was installed bishop of the Anglican Church in Singapore in October.

The Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ is led by Sir Peter Low who founded it in 1970. The choir has performed internationally, including for Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

Meanwhile, a giant parol, a star-like decoration common in the Philippines during the Christmas season, has been set up outside the cathedral by the Filipino community.

The parol is a symbol of hope and joy for Filipinos during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

The giant lantern at the cathedral measures 4.6 by 3.7 m and is lighted in the evenings.

By Martin See
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