Last Thursday, December 18, we were fortunate to attend the 44th Annual Candlelight Carol Sing at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark thanks to a friend of ours. The Cathedral Basilica had standing room only with close to 2,000 people in attendance. This was our first time attending the Carol Sing. Wow! Were we ever impressed with the beautiful evening of carols. It’s one thing to listen to Christmas carols on the radio, but to listen to them in such a holy and gorgeous cathedral certainly elevates the experience.
The Cathedral Choir and Chamber Orchestra are in the very capable hands of Mr. John J. Miller (Director of Music Ministries). The concert was approximately an hour and a half with nonstop music. The performance consisted of 15 pieces of music. The choir sang in multiple languages, including Latin (“Ave Maria” and “Lux Aurumque”); Italian (“Tu Scendi dalle Stelle”); German (“Silent Night”); Polish (“Lullaby, Sweet Jesu”); French (“Cantique de Nöel”); Spanish (“Veinticinco de Diciembre”); and Czech (“Nesem Vám Noviny”).
The entire evening was magical, but for me the highlight of the carol sing had to be “Silent Night”. The lights in the Cathedral Basilica were turned off; as over 1,000 small handheld candles were lit. The soft glow of the candles warmed the entire Cathedral Basilica. I thought myself to be in the Christmas spirit before the carol sing, but after the concert and in particular after “Silent Night” I was overjoyed with the spirit of Christmas.
If you get a chance to attend the 45th & subsequent Candlelight Carol Sings, I highly recommend that you attend with your family. I guarantee it will put you into the Christmas Spirit. Merry Christmas to you all. God bless.
Pax et bonum,
Anthony “Tony Mangia” Scillia
Tagged: Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Archbishop John Meyers, Archdiocese of Newark, Basilica, candlelight, Candlelight Carol Sing, carols, Cathedral, Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Cathedral Concert Series, Christmas, Christmas Carol Sing, Christmas carols, Czech, French, German, Italian, John J. Miller, Latin, Polish, Silent Night, Spanish