The nativity, a parish community and djembe drums
Djembe drums will play at the South Belconnen Christmas Vigil Mass on Sunday evening, as children and families gather at St Matthew’s in Page to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Organiser Lisa Harris said a parish husband and wife team – he a classically trained baritone singer and she a djembe drummer – added an incredible sense of beauty to the Mass.
“She leads the drums with a couple of kids, and it just sounds extraordinary,” Lisa said.
“It is an incredibly rare opportunity to hear them, and it is pretty special.”
Everyone is welcome to contribute to the Christmas Vigil, with a special focus on the involvement of children.
“For some of our families, this might be the only mass they go to, so the fact that they can be involved and have special parts and know that they are lovingly embraced and welcomed is important,” Lisa said.
“It is just lovely having the children participating. The children feel special because they have jobs to do. We invite the children to be the readers, and then some of our children are part of the Holy Family for the nativity. We have the wise men, and we encourage all other children to come dressed as shepherds and angels. They all come up and sing a special song.”
Lisa said when the two parishes – St Matthew’s in Page and St Vincent’s in Aranda – were amalgamated into South Belconnen, connecting with the schools had been a priority.
“We thought since many of our families from both schools go to the Vigil Mass, that we could celebrate it at the school and do it outdoors,” she explained.
“It is just such a nice atmosphere. People bring along their picnic chairs and extended family members come along and join in the Mass. The parish runs it, but the children do all the readings and processions and everything. The Vigil Mass is the biggest attended over the Christmas period, and we swap it between the schools.”
Lisa said families coming together in Holy Communion was the pinnacle of any Mass, but it was extra special at Christmas.
“When you stand up the front and see the sea of people, it is just so beautiful and heart-warming,” she said.
“Having all the children there and seeing the excitement on their faces is wonderful. And Fr Simon is just phenomenal at bringing the community together and welcoming everyone at this special time.”