The Feast That Was Christ the King’s Easter Carols

If you have not listened to music that has touched the very depths of your heart, you probably do not agree with the generally-held view that music is food for the soul.

Music that has lifted you up on the crests of its high notes and then has brought you down, calming and soothing you with its low, peaceful notes. For those who have listened to fragile, yet g and beautiful shaky voices doing all types of music, however, the words ‘music is food for the soul’ sum up how fulfilling music can be.

Some of the people who can attest to music being a feast for the soul are music-loving Christians who were at Christ the King church on March 29, which also happened to be Palm Sunday. They were treated to music that lifted and soothed their fasting souls.

Christ the King Choirs Association, composed of the eight choirs that sing during city centre-based church masses, treated the music-loving Christians to well-prepared Easter carols.

Benedict Mubiru, the association’s chairman, said the carols – he prefers to call them Easter songs – were meant to prepare Christians for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. The Lenten season is into its last week, also called the holy week, which culminates into Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday celebrations across the world.

“Because it is still the Lenten period, we sing songs of penitence during the carolling. Then we sing songs about Palm Sunday and finally, we sing some Easter songs,” Mubiru said on Sunday.

True to his word, the carols were kicked off with Mu Nnaku Za Kalema, a song composed by Michael Mukisa. Because it is a penitent Lenten song, Mu Nnaku Za Kalema usually sounds sad. But when Christ the King Choirs Association sang it on Palm Sunday, it carried the congregants high unto God and then brought them down gently.

Mu Nnaku Za Kalema was followed by the now-classic Vamuvamba, an upbeat song composed by Lawrence Ssemanda. Other Lenten songs, composed by Fredrick Handel including Behold the Lamb of God, He Was Despised and Surely, were sweetly served by the choirs’ association.

Palm Sunday is a day that traditionally sees Kampala and the countryside littered with palm-wielding Christians heading to church in commemoration of the day Christ Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem on a colt. For some reason, it also has a way of drawing even the rarely-in-church Christians out of their houses.

At Christ the King, mass kicked off outside the church, where the priest read scripture about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, from Mark 11:1-10. The proclamation of this gospel was joyful, followed by an equally joyful procession into church.

Glories were bandied about and triumphant songs that refer to Jesus as King – songs such as Loud and Honour, were sung. Later, during the second gospel reading, the passion of Christ, chronicling Jesus’ hours before he was arrested, his arrest and eventual crucifixion, was then read.

Claire Kabaalu, with her wondrous soprano, performed a beautiful solo of Handel’s How Beautiful.

Easter songs such as Charles Wood’s This Joyful Easter Tide and Fr James Kabuye’s Azuukidde and Entaana Njereere, were also performed by the choir members who wore black and white, matching their outfits with the black folders from which they read their music.

PALM SUNDAY

Palm Sunday readings are deep and rich. Other than the gospel reading from the book of Mark, other readings came from Isaiah 50:4-7 (first reading), Philippians 2:6-11 (second reading) and Mark 14:1-15,47 (second gospel).

Interpreting them, Msgr Gerald Kalumba said that just as blood from the lamb was smeared on the Israelites’ doorposts and saved them from death at the Passover, Jesus’ death during the Passover celebrations saves Christians from death.

“Jesus is our lamb. His body and blood, which we take during Eucharist, save us from the devil [and death] just as the lamb the Israelites sacrificed at Passover was used to save their first- born sons,” Kalumba, who was the main celebrant during the 11:15am mass, said.

Sunday is Easter, the commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – the very essence of the Christian faith. While in other countries it is a celebration increasingly overshadowed by secular traditions such as Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, may your Easter celebrations help you reflect on why you choose to follow Jesus Christ.

Source : The Observer

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