Beauty of Christmas Through the Eyes of the Seniors
“Lo! Behold, as the season of Joy and Happiness closes in, the spirit of youth and fervour emanates from the heart of every living soul.”
Mangaluru: Here we come a’caroling! The joy and spirit of Christmas came early for a few lonely elderly and sick at home, when they were surprised with carol singing by a bevy of Milagres parishioners who had formed a choir group to spread Christmas cheer to sick and elderly. It’s the ‘season to be jolly’ and the busiest time of the year, as the “Rome of the East”- Kodiyal aka Kudla aka Mangaluru geared up to celebrate the birth of Christ through carol singing. The harmony and exuberance of the carol singers is always pleasure to listen to. With less than 25 days to Christmas, Mangaloreans are gearing up for the festive season. It’s time to deck the hall with boughs of holly! Yes, the intention is to put that song in your head, because it’s almost Christmas!
And few weeks before Christmas comes carol singing, where carolers visit homes with a bunch of friends and sing upbeat carols like “Jingle Bells” or serene ones like “Silent Night”. Even though most of them aren’t singers, but they do it since it’s fun and festive. That’s the case with most merry makers and Mangaluru is full of them, and one among them is the Carolers of Milagres Church Choir. And generally, senior citizens or the ailing are not in a state to come out of their house, these carolers go to their homes and make them happy. These carolers prioritize old age homes and unwell folk, because Christmas is a time to share and care – If they can’t come to church, these carolers take the church to them.
Christmas hymns resonate in city! Singing of carols spreads joy during Christmas. One cannot imagine Christmas without carols. From “Jingle Bells” to “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to ” Joy to the World”, the carolers of Milagres Church here were all set to spread the joy of Christmas in all the homes they proposed to visit. Singing for the ailing persons and the elderly will surely give these carolers a sense of joy because it will definitely make them all. What enlivens the mood is when a group of young and old pops up at the door and begin singing- and that makes a difference in one’s life during this festive season.
Attired in traditional Christmas outfits to suit the seasonal serenades, one among them also impersonating Santa Claus, the carol choir group hopped into a mini bus and Scorpio to visit few homes of the elderly and the sick, thereby making a difference in their lives during this joyous season. The young and vintage carolers surprised the elderly and the sick at their respective homes with songs of Christmas, thereby putting smiles on their faces. Surely there was the element of surprise, followed by expressions of gratitude. Christmas caroling, an act of service as well as a holiday tradition, has become a popular among teens and elders of the Milagres Parish- and they have been doing this for last so many years, and this year was no exception.
“Finding enthusiastic participants, including the youngsters isn’t a problem. All of us were enthusiastically ready to knock on the home doors of these seniors/sick, and every place we visited we were welcomed with a smile and gratitude. Musical talent is not so essential to caroling, it’s the enthusiasm and dedication that counts. It’s so much more fun actually being outside and singing Christmas carols for those who don’t get a chance to leave their homes, especially the elderly and sick. Though we visit homes to spread Christmas cheer, we feel blessed as people give us respect and love. And we love doing this for the faithful of our parish during this joyous season” said Ms Nelly Pereira- Secretary of Milagres Church Choir.
Although many people go through the Christmas season without carolers showing up on their doorstep, the tradition is still alive. Carol singing is a guaranteed way to swing everyone into a festive mood. This very thought has brought together the Parishioners of Milagres Church, to inspire the young and the old in joining them for a time of merriment, through the sound of carols. Ahead of Christmas, this carol group visited homes to usher in festive spirit. Starting from the 28th of November, 2016, the parishioners had planned to visit the house of senior citizens belonging to the parish of Milagres
Through their journey so far, they have covered a staggering 42 houses and have lifted up the moods of senior citizens residing in these houses. A group of nearly 30 parishioners, including the Parish Vicar Fr Valerian D’Souza, and Assistant Vicar- Fr Anil Lobo deemed it necessary to make a difference to society and vowed to visit almost every house of seniors in the territory of the parish to fill their homes with love, health and prosperity. It has been just an amazing experience for these carol singers, when they sang for the elders/sick. At quite a few homes, when the carol singers were singing to them, the seniors also joined in singing with them. Combine that with the fact that they were songs about the birth of Jesus, which are songs that are special to friends and family- What a marvelous feeling in that room!
On a final note, Door-to-door carol singing is an integral and indispensable part of Christmas where the carolers walk into people’s homes and render popular carols, bringing messages of hope, laughter and joy. Christmas is the only time when families get a chance to come together and celebrate in the spirit of the season. And carol rounds help them bond. From the youngest to the oldest, it is the spirit of togetherness and moving from one house to another that are truly fun-filled exercises. Carol singing is also about bringing joy and happiness to the less fortunate. These carolers never conclude their carol rounds without visiting old age homes, the sick, orphanages and senior citizens. Carol singing is not just about having fun but it’s also about bringing a smile on people’s faces.
So, If you spot a yellow mini bus full of happy faces, singing Christmas carols, it’s probably a bunch of happy singers belonging to the Milagres parish. With these carol singers, the festive mood is infectious. So keep your doors open, let those singers come in, sing to you and make you happy and festive. May God bless them in their endeavour and may the ambiance be filled with peace by their good work. Wishing one and all a Very Cherry Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year, well in advance!
With inputs from : Mrs. Nelly Pereira- Milagres Choir Secretary