Choir prepares lessons and carols for a cause

Once again, traditional Christmas songs and stories will ring out into the night Dec. 15 from the First United Lutheran Church. It’s part of Lessons and Carols, a show performed by the Borealis Choir with roots going back to the 1910s.

“King's College, Cambridge started it after the First World War,” organizer Tim Spencer said.

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“There's a traditional group of Bible readings, nine of them, then carols that sort of fit with those readings provide lots of opportunity for the congregation or the audience to sing along with some of the classic carols everybody wants to hear at Christmas time.”

Spencer said the production has been performed in Flin Flon for 15 years and partners with the Lord’s Bounty Food Bank to raise money and food.

“We sort of made it a bit more local with the content of the prayers, but right from the start, we decided to do it as a way to support the food bank,” he said.

“That that part of it has been growing every year and so that's been a gratifying thing to see.”

Spencer said 2018 was the best year for donations in the 15 year history of the show in Flin Flon.

“Supporting the food bank is definitely a worthy cause,” he said.

“It's growing every year. There’s support for the food bank and the attendance. I think it's sort of become a bit of a tradition for Christmas time. This is kind of a lot of people said ‘Oh, my Christmas is about to start,’ It's usually 10 days or so before Christmas.”

Putting on a show like this is only possible by gathering resources.

“The reality is that churches in a small town are generally pretty small,” he said.

“Each of them have pretty small memberships. No one church really has the ability to put together a choir and do some of this, so it's a way for the public to participate in that aspect of Christmas with a choir that's big enough to do all that kind of music.”

Spencer said Christmas time leads many back to the church.

“Christmas is a time of tradition and nostalgia for simpler times and family time,” he said.

“We had that wonderful concert with the community choir [the annual Christmas concert] with  Christmas music from different sources, a lot of Christmas. The music is secular and doesn't reference to the birth of Jesus or anything like that, whereas this is focused on that.”

The choir will be performing inside the First United Lutheran Church, a performance space Spencer gushed about.

“It's a wonderful space for doing music,” he said.

“They have an excellent organ. We’re lucky with a group of singers and then having Mark Kolt and his tremendous abilities to play the organ… We were just there last night, rehearsing. The Christmas tree is up and there's Christmas wreaths and candles and things like that. This is quite the atmosphere, the service happens at a time where the sun is going down. It's a beautiful, warm kind of feeling in that in that space.”

The service is open to all with tax receipts available to anyone who donates over $20 to the food bank.

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