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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Commissioning of Carolers and Carols by Candlelight at HTC

Article by Julita Kantod and
photos by Carlos and Julita 
Tawau : The 6-day house-to-house Christmas caroling of Holy Trinity Parish kicked off on Sunday 13th December and shall end on Friday, 18th December. This year around, there are 11 carol groups from the main church and 12 groups from the BECs. The annual event is the combined effort of all the four main language community and the various groups of the church.
A week before the event proper, Julita Kantod conducted a catechesis session on preparation of the house-to-house caroling. The session was well attended and it provided good tips for carolers to prepare themselves spiritually and mentally as they embark on bringing the Good News to neighbours and friends. It was also an opportunity for them to understand the beauty of serving the church by contributing their time, talent and energy.
In his homily, Msgr Nicholas Ong stressed that Christ the King of the universe saves us from the power of death and brings us to anticipate in His joy. He said, 'Advent is the joyful expectation for the coming of our saviour. Let us be pure in our moral behaviour towards each other. Be kind, fair, tolerance, patience and most of all be prayerful so that we may be well prepared to celebrate Christmas.' 
To the carolers, he urged them to be authentic witnesses of joy and love as they are the bearers of the good news during the 6-day caroling period. He said, 'Today is the Joyful Sunday and Christmas is a joyful moment for everyone, for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. He is the messiah who has come down from heaven to share with us the happiness and joy of God’s love and mercy. Proclaim the good news with happiness and let everyone knows that there is always hope for everyone who seeks God.'
After the Mass, some 800 parishioners, including carolers adjourned to the Parish Hall for the Carols by Candlelight event. 
Msgr. Nicholas Ong expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all parishioners who had spared their time for the joyful event. He thanked the organizers and all the carolers for their commitment in making the event a reality.
Julita and John, the masters of ceremony extended words of welcome to the parishioners followed by beautiful carols as an opening. Msgr. Nicholas Ong, the rector, accompanied by Fr. Johnny Raju, religious sisters and PPC Chairman lighted the Christmas lights, a symbolic opening of the event.
The musical sketch on the Nativity, presented by the Children's Liturgy Group aged 4 – 12 years old touched the hearts of the parishioners. 
Carols by the 4 main language community
The event ended at 10.30 pm with a closing prayer and blessing by Fr. Johnny Raju.

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