Annual Candlelight and Carols Service To Bring Holiday Joy
A tradition at First United Methodist Church, Paris, Texas for over eighty-five years, the annual Candlelight and Carols service will again be presented on Sunday evening, December 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Amid a beautiful Christmas setting of stained glass, candles in the windows, poinsettia gracing the altar area, and the church’s hand-made Chrismons displayed on a massive Christmas tree, the music ministry of this historic church will bring to life beautiful songs of Christmas faith and praise presented by each of the church’s musical groups. The evening will be filled with beloved carols, new choral arrangements, and meaningful scriptures.
This year’s musical offerings come at a time when Paris, Texas has suffered an icy, cold devastation that affected most every family in the area leaving them cold, hungry, angry, and basically in shock at the circumstances that have transpired since Thursday night. This year’s presentation is dedicated to the glory of God with the mission of bringing the warmth and joy of Jesus Christ through song and spoken word to those who have been affected in the Red River Valley Region.
The Candlelight and Carols worship service has several exciting musical traditions. First is the performance of the Angelus Children’s Choir which is made up of the youngest singers of the church. It is always exciting to hear them sing and also to see them burst into dance because they are so happy to sing of God’s love at such a young age. The Kingdom Kids Children’s Choir, directed by Cheryt Wilson, will perform “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and “We Three Kings” and will present a flowing ribbon choregraphy as they sing. The Tones Chime Kids Choir will play the melody of hymn favorite, “Joy to the World” with a bass chime accompaniment. The Wesley Ringers Handbell Choir directed by Music Minister Pat Fowzer will bring to life one of the most beautiful Christmas standards, “Mary, Did You Know?” This is the first time the Mark Lowry composition has been arranged for handbells and is an exceptional arrangement for bells. The service always begins with a processional of all of the choirs, and this year they will enter the church to “Sing We Now of Christmas”. Congregational hymns will include: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”, and “Love Came Down at Christmas”. At the end of the service, the congregation will light candles to the singing of “Silent Night” and allow the sanctuary to glow with the light of Christ’s love through the lighting of over 350 candles!
Representing Connections Church, a separate worship experience campus founded in the Village Shopping Center, will be worship leader, Michael Plata singing “A Savior is Born” from the popular Hillsong vocal group. Michael will accompany himself on the guitar.
The Chancel Choir will be unwrapping some sensational Christmas selections which will include: “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus with Come, Thou Great Redeemer”, “I Wonder As I Wander”, “In The Bleak Midwinter”, “The Holly and The Ivy”, “Breath of Heaven”, and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. Accompanists for the evening are Arvin Starrett, organist, and Bruce Frazier, pianist.
The wonderful music of Christmas truly does make the season brighter, and the musicians of First United Methodist Church wish to invite Paris and the surrounding communities to join them this coming Sunday evening at 322 Lamar Avenue at 6:30 p.m. There is absolutely no charge for this evening of exciting music. Instead, it is a gift to the congregation and the community to relieve the stress of this week’s disastrous days of weather, travel, and power challenges.
The pastor of First United Methodist Church is Rob Spencer who encourages all to join with the church members in celebrating the joy of the Christmas season through hope, love, peace, light, and music!