Candles, Carols and Cookies

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INNISFAIL – Local churches are sharing the true meaning of Christmas through music, spoken words and fellowship.

Innisfail United Church held its annual Candles, Carols and Cookies event on Dec. 17. Music directors Catherine Wagner and Karen Trembath organized the event.

“We’ve been doing this for at least 10 years,” said Wagner. “It’s an outreach event. It’s like a Christmas gift from our church to the community.

“We often have people come to Candles, Carols and Cookies that aren’t church members and they look forward to it,” she added.

Church patrons and guests listened to a variety of Christmas music during the event and also had an opportunity to join in and sing along.

“They sing carols, listen to beautiful Christmas music and also listen to some inspirational, spoken words,” said Wagner.

Trembath noted the contributions from other local singers.

“It’s not just the Innisfail United Church choir that sings. There’s also (two musical groups) Chatelaine and Sweet and Sour, two ladies’ a cappella groups that participate,” said Trembath.

In addition to traditional Christmas music, there were several new selections.

“There will be some contemporary, modern Christmas music as well,” said Wagner, noting this year’s theme for the event.

“The theme of our program tonight is the history of Christmas music through the ages. It traces it from its ancient origins and chants to modern- day Christmas music,” she added. “People will learn a little bit about music history tonight too.”

“I love how it brings people from all different backgrounds here to get into the Christmas spirit,” added Trembath. “It’s a good way for our choir to show off the talent they have; they’ve worked hard.”

On Thursday, another local church will continue a Christmas tradition.

Carollers from the River of Life Pentecostal Assembly will also be sharing the Christmas spirit in Innisfail on Dec. 21.

“We just want to share the joy of Christmas,” said Gerald Bradbury, pastor at River of Life church. “We’re keeping some of our great Canadian traditions of carolling and keeping the true meaning of Christ in Christmas,” he added, noting they will visit several local establishments, including the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion.

“People enjoyed it last year and thought it was a great thing,” said Bradbury.

Catherine Wagner, co-music director.

“It’s like a Christmas gift from our church to the community.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.