St Mary’s Church Thurles Tipperary – Carols By Candlelight

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum

The annual ecumenical service “Carols by Candlelight,” will take place in St Mary’s Church, Thurles, Co Tipperary on Friday next December 21st at 8.00pm.

Music for this seasonal event will be directed by local, well known Thurles organist Mr John O’Gorman and will feature recording artists & former rock Band “Cephas,” (Latter Noreen, Edward & JJ Cullinane), well known recorded ‘Tenor,’ Michael Molumby, Miss Rachel Willoughby, & published Poet Mrs Joan Pollard Carew.

Carols by Candlelight

One of the earliest forms of “Carols by Candlelight,” began in the 19th century, when Cornish Miners working in Moonta, South Australia would gather on Christmas Eve to sing carols, lit with candles stuck to the brims of their safety helmets. This tradition spread through Victoria and Melbourne until it was popularised in 1938 by Norman Banks, a radio announcer, then with a Melbourne radio station. Story goes that whilst walking home from his night-time radio shift on Christmas Eve in 1937, he passed a window and saw inside an elderly woman sitting up in bed, listening to ‘Away in a Manger,’ being played on the radio and singing along, with her face being lit by candlelight. Wondering how many others spent Christmas alone, he had the idea to gather a large group of people to all sing Christmas carols together by candlelight. The first ever such event was held in Alexandra Gardens the following Christmas, 1938, and was attended by around 10,000 people.

Doors to St Mary’s Church will open at 7.15 pm to ensure that elderly people attending will be offered suitable seating for this event, which will also feature performances from Thurles Chamber of Commerce and other Community leaders in Thurles and its environs.

All are welcome to attend this free, no ticket seasonal concert.

A collection will be taken during this special Church Christmas seated concert event, proceeds from which go to the Annual overseas C of I Bishop’s Appeal Fund.

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