Boston, MA—Last year’s Gracias Christmas Cantata Tour drew 13,000 people across 9 cities in America together to experience the happiness of the gift of Jesus Christ’s birth. This year’s Tour has expanded to 15 cities in the United States and Canada. On September 27th, Gracias Choir held its first 2013 Cantata performance in Boston, MA.
A city rich with history and academics, a town that represents the first days of American colonization, a place that is home to some of the best universities in the world like Harvard and MIT, and streets filled with abounding wisdom and innovation. But another reality is that Boston is ripe with spiritual decay.
This was the first time Gracias Christmas Cantata has come to Boston. The 1800-seat Chevalier Theater venue boasts a strong and rich cultural tradition. Even 2 hours before opening the house, many Bostonians had already lined the streets, waiting to redeem their tickets and listen to Gracias Choir. By the end of Act 1, 1000 people had taken their seats.
Some even found themselves conducting the performance from their seats and moving their bodies along with the more spirited carol numbers. One thing was for sure: the audience was completely sucked into the Gracias Christmas Cantata from the first note.
Pastor Joseph Park of the Good News New York Church delivered a message about Joseph, who became the governor of Egypt and forgave his brothers’ betrayal by introducing them to his son Manasseh, which translates to “causing to forget.” Pastor Park linked this story to the fact that through Jesus Christ, God would remember our sins no more. The message was capped off with the proclamation that the road Jesus took for us was made possible by His birth in Bethlehem. This drew cries of “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!”
Gracias Choir enjoyed an extended standing ovation immediately after their rendition of Handel’s Messiah. Although there were some who took their seats with rigid expressions on their faces, they left Chevalier Theater filled with happiness and an open heart.
“The Christmas Cantata was so great. Professionally done. Absolute perfection. I could see that this Cantata depicted the Christmas story and the truth behind our Messiah’s entrance into the world. I am Catholic by tradition, but truthfully, was feeling very disdained with religion because of a lot of negative things that have happened in the Catholic Church. But through this Cantata, I was able to think about the meaning of Christ and started to want to seek Him again. Yes, it seemed like an ordinary concert on the outside, but I am so thankful to this Choir that travels America, preaching the Gospel.”
“I knew immediately it was a Korean person who had left a “Dear Neighbor” letter in my mailbox. I can recognize Korean handwriting because I have a lot of Korean friends. As soon as I realized what it was, I wanted to go. I invited a lot of my Korean American friends, but they weren’t able to come with me because it was late notice. I definitely want to bring them next time. I am thankful for such a beautiful performance.”
-Elain Tassinari, Esq., Medford
“God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:2)
A new light has been given to Boston. On the outside, it may be the center for higher education and the birthplace of the American Revolution, but many in Boston live in darkness from having lost God. This Gracias Christmas Cantata premiere has given many of them the light of God and our hope is that it will change their pain, despair, and sadness. Onward we go. Next stop: Nashville, TN.