On December 9, 100-plus enthusiasts traipsed into the St Joseph’s RC Church at Mon Repos in San Fernando to be a part of Taize Trinbago’s Ecumenical Carol Service.
Darkness had just begun to fall and together with the hushed silence inside the church, set the tone for what became an enchanting evening of prayer in song, silence and mediation.
The arrival of the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Nicola Girasoli and Charge D’Affairs at the Apostolic Nunciature and secretary Msgr Pawel Obiedzinski set the ball a-rolling with the evening song Veni Veni Emmanuel in Latin led by the all-male chorus under the directorship of Stephen Jones, Founder of Taize Trinbago. It was a beautiful curtain raiser to a fantastic evening.
Joining His Excellency in the sanctuary was host parish priest Fr Peter de la Bastide and Deacon Rev Mike James of the AEC Secretariat.
Taize chants, Venite Exultemus Domino, Wait for the Lord and Bless the Lord my soul, drilled a harmonious spirit into the atmosphere with SATB arrangements. The musical fare served up that evening profiled soprano Dianne Williams praying O Holy Night, indeed a holy night.
Renowned Natalia Dopwell offered Pascani’s Ave Maria, Wendell Constantine reminded us that there was hope with his rendition of When a Child is Born.
Soloist Donna-Mae Greaves encouraged the congregation to carry the light of Christ into the world with her piece: Go light your world.
Ministers of the word Stephanie Greenidge and Shirley Timothy articulated with deep humility for the Advent and Christmas readings as co-founder of Taize Trinbago Nicole Poyer reminded us in her well delivered reflection, that there was no room for Christ.
Her disposition and dramatic pauses in repeating “no room in the inn” challenged the faithful to take responsibility for the many times we have caused others to feel as though there is no room for them in our lives.
The reflection climaxed as Ms Poyer called the Christian faithful during this season of Advent to make room/space/accommodation for Christ and others this Christmas.
Mention must be made of the presence of the Girl Guides who travelled all the way from Couva to join us. Many Facebook friends of Taize Trinbago also journeyed the long distance to join in fellowship at the ecumenical gathering.
The Apostolic Nunio, just before giving his Papal blessing, shared how wonderful and blessed his household had been to be invited to such a heavenly gathering, since Taize in France is a very special place for them.
Their delight in the music ministry which also included Sr Kathy Joseph OP, Shanice and Adrian Harrigin and Khadija Huggins, resulted in a formal request to a private audience at the chapel of His Excellency.
The Ecumenical concert which lasted roughly two hours was just what was needed as the efforts to bring Christians together proved again to be worth every effort.
Taize Trinbago wishes to thank everyone who participated in the event and to exhort the word of the reflection: Make room in your life for someone who is in need. That person just maybe Christ, our Lord.
Stephen Jones is a member of the Camsel organisation in the new media department. Camsel is the communications arm of the Archdiocese with offices at 31 Independence Square, Port-of-Spain. Telephone: 623-7620.