“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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Holiday Cheer II

This is my 2nd post for a feel good story!  You may have noticed the special graphic above with a link explaining the 'Feel Good Holiday Spirit Reading"....



It's about a teen-aged girl and boy. And a church choir. In the hot month of August, the Catechism Class held on Wednesdays each week was attended by a couple of dozen young Christians. One day, the pastor's wife [who directed the adult choir each Sunday during services] came in and she announced that on Christmas Eve Service the teens will have a program for the congregation, along with the pre-teen  Sunday School Class. And there will be a 'behind' the scene singing of Carols. Volunteers were lined up, and 'auditioned'. One girl and one boy were chosen because of their soft, yet strong-carrying voices - and the ability to carry a tune and read music. Late August, the whole Catechism Class began rehearsing. Long hours, along with a bit of fun and games afterward at times, took a good deal away from any social life outside....something perhaps a high strung teenager would miss. Weeks and months swiftly went by. The routine, and the songs were pitch perfect  From the story, to the chosen holiday hymns.  Everything was as good as gold!! The night of Christmas Eve, the class did their last rehearsal, dressed in their choir robes, and with the silence of the night's congregation already seated, the pomp and circumstance of the evening brought anxieties and last minute direction and suggestions on the upcoming performance that was embedded in their minds.  A bit of stage fright all came rushing forward, giving them butterfly stomachs. Faint smiles were shared between classmates as they promenaded down the aisle, the eyes and recognition of family members seated in the candle-lit, holiday atmosphere, gave off a silence that prevailed until  everyone was seated in the choir pews.

Passages were read from the Bible, a few songs from the congregation, a sermon...then, the  service began with our special show intermingled. At the end of the stable scene staging of the story, the teen-aged girl stood up. Alone. And all eyes were on her. The silence was deafening. The choir director, giving her a vote of confidence nod as the organist began the song's first chords, it all began. Her voice carried up and out amongst the parishioners. Perhaps a little weak at first.  Then, the organist stopped playing any background accompaniment, but as the hymn progressed it was beautiful! Tears flowed from the director's eyes...and a keen sense of pride swept over the girl's soul!! It was a hit!! As the last stanza of the first verse was being sung, the teen-aged boy stood and chimed in with the girl's last words. She sat to a subdued applause as the boy continued singing the 2nd verse.

When the song ended. The two soloists were acknowledged and stood up. At that instant, the thunderous applause broke the silence!!  Then a silent reverie....

The song? O Holy Night
[video - song sung by Josh Groban - beautiful!!]
The Teens? Robert and........it was me...ANNI
After the Christmas Eve Service, and the congregation began to filter out, shaking hands and giving out accolades to us all,  it began to spit snow with stars brightly shining in the sky above... so ever-ebony!!  It was a most perfect, divine, holy night...a Christmas Eve that remains unforgettable.

O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels' voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night
O night divine
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels' voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night
O night divine

I still love the hymn, I still feel a bit of butterflies in my stomach of the memory of that night back long ago.  I still sing it loud and strong when I hear it...or sometimes just break out in song for no other reason than to be singing it again....the words make me, literally, FEEL GOOD.   And at times, if the mood is right, I have tears well for the memory of the long rehearsal time, the pride throughout the choir/classmates and the elation of the congregation.

[above graphics courtesy of Google Images]

32 comments :

  1. I thought this was a lovely story Anni, very special. I almost felt I was in the audience, so well told. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful memory.

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  2. oh my, what a wonderful story and a beautiful memory for you. I have always loved that song.

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  3. Wow...Touching story.

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  4. Yep, definitely a feel good story!

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  5. So very precious. Your posts always brighten my day, and your photos are always so wonderful to see too. Have a wonderful day!

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  6. Oh, Anni....this is a wonderful, feel good story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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    1. ...thank you Rose, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. Anni what a beautiful story...my goodness I never once guessed who the duo would be.. our very own Anni...
    is Robert also known as Butch? You are artistic through and through from your voice to your fingertips.
    Hugs madi and mom

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    1. Butch....I think, equals Bud!! lol

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  8. Wonderful feel good story all right! :-)

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    1. ...thanks, I am glad you enjoyed reading this D J

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  9. Reading your story was a bright spot in my day this beautiful Sunday. Beautiful and so well told. So proud that you have that wonderful memory.
    Blessings and wishing you a happy Christmas.
    Audrey Z.

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    1. Thank you so much Audrey. I'm glad to see you stop by.

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  10. Beautiful! And so perfect for the day!! Thank you, as always, for sharing the beauty, Anni!! I hope you have a wonderful new week with lots of love and laughter!!

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  11. You are definitely a "hoot". I never gave a thought that the little girl was you. Truly a remarkable true story. That is the best kind.

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  12. This is lovely, Anni.

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  13. Beautiful "Feel Good Story" Anni.

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  14. This is a hoot, indeed. I sang this at my mother's funeral, my daughter accompanied me on her flute!

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  15. Such a heartwarming story and my favourite Christmas song! It was one of the highlights at our Church's recent "Christmas Carols Spectacular"!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this Liz

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  16. O Holy Night has always been my fave christmas carol.Love the beautiful story you shared, Anni.
    So glad to reconnect again, Anni! I just realized I've missed out all these wonderful stuff on your blog.

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    1. Never too late to return and continue 'chatting' as always.

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