Dear KES Family:
There is a connection between our Remembrance Day observances and this Sunday’s Advent Service of Lessons and Carols. After the First World War ended on November 11th one hundred years ago, the initial joy of peace was replaced by the haunting and horrific memories of the war. The bigger questions about life and our existence surfaced. Is humanity really no better than this? Amidst so much darkness and despair, and after so much cruelty and death, where is the light and beauty of life? Thus, one hundred years ago, scant weeks after the end of WWI, the church created the Advent Service of Lessons and Carols to remind returning soldiers and families alike that there is goodness in the world. It is a service which tells a story of hope and new life. It is a service which asks us to fill our lungs and participate in the beauty of song.
Reading silently on one’s own is much different than reading out loud. On Sunday, most of the Lessons will be read by students. It is daunting to stand alone and read out loud in front of one’s schoolmates and their families as well as the entire faculty. Reading the older syntax and vocabulary of Scripture is a rare challenge. Adding to the task is that many of our readers on Sunday do not include English as a first language. I find this aspect of the Service as moving as the words contained in the Lessons themselves. My heart goes out to those who participate.
My heart went out to Grade 7 student Lucas Martin this week. On Thursday, he read in Chapel. He had a long passage describing Jesus expelling the merchants and money changers from the Temple. There were some big and unfamiliar words in the Lesson. I was impressed by his clear and confident reading voice. However, I was even more impressed when he would stop and quietly ask Reverend Curry how to pronounce some of the words. In 33 years of attending morning Chapel, I have seen students gamely tackle and mangle some of the Bible’s greatest stories. When Lucas demonstrated the confidence and presence of mind to simply ask how to pronounce something (it took no time at all as Reverend Curry was sitting right beside the podium) I could not help but smile. It was a brilliant moment and added to the story instead of detracting from it.