Carols in three languages by SHC youth Dec 20

By Aline Lim

Dec 23 2020

KOTA KINABALU – “Christ, our Hope”, a theme apt for these times.

Just when things started to get better in November and we were preparing to attend Mass at church in the first weekend of Advent, the excitement and joy were short lived when it was announced that a priest residing at Emmaus Home, located in the compound of Sacred Heart Cathedral, contracted COVID-19 and that the church would have to be closed for two weeks. This is how uncertain the situation can be these days.

Year after year, one of the things the youth look forward to is the house-to-house Advent visit, where it is an annual opportunity for us to share Christ’s joy through the singing of carols. Due to the pandemic, this year, that has been suspended.

But, thank God for technology! While we may not be able to physically visit the homes of families this year, parish priest Fr Paul Lo called on the youth to bring the joy to families virtually.

With extremely limited number of people in attendance and strict SOP protocols in place, the youth of Sacred Heart came together for one night Dec 20 to sing Carols in three languages to a small live audience which comprised of the parish clergy and the SOCCOM crew, and an estimated virtual audience of 1,000.

Carols were sung, with narrations in between. To add on to the merriment, we were serenaded by the priests, led by Fr Saimon William, with three classic Carols: O Holy Night, When A Child Is Born and White Christmas. The whole event lasted about an hour and 15 minutes. Despite the hiccups, technical difficulties and shortcomings, some viewers enjoyed singing along.

For the youth, it was a unique experience altogether. With very limited resources, manpower and stringent SOP to follow like singing with masks throughout, it was a struggle. Nevertheless, like the “little drummer boy” who had nothing much to offer that is fit for the King, they brought all they had to offer and gave their all.

It is a strange and peculiar time that we are living in. For many of us, our spirits are dampened, and our hearts are not sure how to anticipate Christmas. Let us continue to trust that Christ will come to meet us exactly where we are at. He is Emmanuel, God-with-us. He is our Hope.