Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Yesterday I wrote that MarilynWill & Michelle were going to spend the day at EPCOT and take in the annual Candlelight Processional. As it turns out, not everyone is familiar with the Candlelight Processional. So think of today's post as a PSA to those who may not know the wonders of this event!

The Candlelight Processional, it is one of the most spectacular celebrations of the birth of Jesus you will find anywhere. A full orchestra, 400+ voices from local high school choirs, the Walt Disney World Choir, The Voices of Liberty (an amazing acapella group that performs regularly at the American Pavilion at EPCOT) and brilliant trumpeters present traditional faith-based Christmas music. Mixed in with the songs (Joy To the World, O Come All Ye Faithful, The Hallelujah Chorus and more) are readings from scripture, shared by a celebrity narrator. Yesterday my family got to hear Neil Patrick Harris (the 2nd time they have heard NPH) read from the Gospel of Luke. Over the years we have heard many different narrators, including Steven Curtis Chapman, the lat Dan Urich, Whoopi Goldberg and my personal favorite, Robert Guillaume (Benson & the voice of Rafiki). It has been a very important part of our Christmas tradition for many years now.

People (mostly inside the church) are often quick to divide the world into two parts:  secular and holy. The concept of secular does not exist in scripture. God created everything; it is only when His creations are misused that we get in to trouble. We are told that "all good and perfect gifts come from God." Secular certainly does not exist at the Candlelight Processional. The event takes place 3 times each day from Thanksgiving until the end of the year in a large outdoor amphitheater. Each performance is packed, with many turned away for lack of space. That means that during this holiday season over 300,000 people will hear the birth story of Jesus from the good people of Walt Disney World. It also takes place at Disneyland- so multiply that number! It's a truly amazing thing that has been going on for years. God is not and cannot be confined to the church. 

One of the songs they perform each year is the classic Do You Hear What I Hear? It is performed by the mass choir and orchestra of the Processional on one of several albums that are available. The one I have features narration by Lou Gossett (another favorite with an amazing voice). I have loved this song since hearing a church choir sing it when I was a little boy. For me, it captures the wonder of that holy night so many years ago. I hope it will inspire you as well. It's time to get ready- after all there's only 22 more sleeps 'til Christmas...

My Deliverer is Coming...

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