The Christmas Cantata Tour bus finished delivering the Christmas present to ten of the western cities and arrived at its first city in the east, New Orleans to open the Cantata.
The city of New Orleans, which the world’s third longest river flows through, is one of the preferred places amongst the tourists who come to USA. According to the 2009 travel magazine, ‘Travel and Leisure’ it is also the most loved city in the whole of the United States of America.
The Saint Luis Cemetery was built in the 18th and 19th century on its low ground, which geographical aspects allowed the corpses to be above sea level. In the picture, there is the oldest grave in the Saint Luis Cemetery, of Saint Luis the First himself.
New Orleans, which used to be a colony of France, still has its images of the colonial days. The Saint Luis Cathedral in one of these images. The Saint Luis Cathedral, which is one of the major landmarks in New Orleans, is the oldest existing Cathedral in USA
If you get away from the Cathedral you will be able to see the other landmarks of New Orleans, such as Jackson Square and the French Market. There are rows of shops that sell all sorts of souvenirs and food. The other zests in walking past the Saint Luis Cathedral, Jackson Square and French Market is that you can stop and see the paintings of artists on the wall or listen to the music coming from the performers on the street. If you see the many Jazz artists around you will be able to feel that truly, this place in the “Hometown of Jazz”.
If you see the heart of the city and look at the clean, modern building with immaculate streets you can almost feel that the pain of Hurricane Katrina that happened nine years ago has been erased but if you go inside the deep corners you can see the building that could not erase the damage.
New Orleans, the city of Jazz, the city that tourists love is the place to hold its fourth Cantata.
First Act – Jesus’ Birth
Joseph, in order to find a room for baby Jesus who was about to be born, was going from inn to inn shouting, “Is there a room!?!” Although he asked so desperately all the rooms were filled and Jesus could not be born anywhere else but in a manger. This threw questions at the audiences hearts as if this did not happen 2000 years ago but rather now.
Second Act – The Christmas Miracle
As Anna, who realized the love of her family, and the villager began to sing, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!” the bells also jingle in the heart of the audience. The audience were overjoyed by Anna, who was so happy, and satisfied themselves by clapping along to the beat of the singing of Anna and the villagers, expressing their uncontrollable hearts
“Yes, you are a sinner. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God!”
The Christmas Message contained the world’s greatest reversal through the word, ‘but’. Just as the Pastor finished, people began to clap and shout Hallelujah, as if they were waiting for that moment.
Third Act – Messiah
The audience expressed their moved hearts in between the short intervals of the three songs in Handel’s Oratorio. The song after Hallelujah, ‘Let it Snow’, suddenly took the audience to a white Christmas Day.
“Are you enjoying yourself? Could you sing with us?”
With a clear voice soloist, Hye Mi Choi, invited the audience to sing with her. The song, ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ was made together; by the soloist but also the audience. The voices shouting, “Encore!” seemed endless.
The last song, ‘God Bless America’ began. As if someone planned it everyone began to sing with one voice.
“God Bless America, my home-, sweet home…!”
“Bravo!!!!!!” Emotion, and more emotion. The atmosphere of the Cantata went on like that.
“Someone put a ‘Dear Neighbour’ letter in our front door. I think it rained on the day the letter came because it was completely wet. I was worried because the tickets inside it were also wet and it might have ripped. However, it dried off quite well and I used that ticket to enter. I didn’t know that there was such a performance in New Orleans. It is really fabulous! The last songs that the choir sang… there are no need for words!” – Couple Rolend & Ruby
“My friend saw this performance last year and she recommended it to me saying that is was absolutely fantastic. I think I should buy her a meal someday. The voice of Gracias Choir is the best in the world!” – Brenda (Left)
“There was an event here in Lakefront Arena and I got to know about the Christmas Cantata while coming to that event. Someone asked me if I wouldn’t want to come to the Christmas Cantata and they also mentioned that it was free. I brought two of my friends with me to come and watch. It was so touching. The performance from the Gracias Choir was so moving and very powerful. My favourite part of the Cantata? It was the message from Pastor! It was like God was speaking to me. I felt the love of God that always gives despite the conditions. You know the American soldier named John that Pastor was talking about, he is just like me. I haven’t lost an eye, an arm and a leg but I once had a mental illness. As I was suffering mentally I felt the same heart that John felt.
It seemed like they would avoid me or hate me but that was not true. You know the gratefulness that Anna felt when she realized the love of her family, which she always took for granted, through the Christmas Miracle. Watching that scene, I cried a lot. While watching the second act I may have cried a lot because of things that I could relate to, but later on, as I was connected with the love of God that Pastor was talking about I was able to be thankful about the love of God. I want to spread the Good News to my friends and family that God has prepared someone for us and that he loves us. Today, as I was seeing the performance I felt that in the music, acting and the performance overall all had God’s soul in it. – Brett
Christmas is Jesus’ day. In this day only Jesus works, and he should be the owner of this day. This is the fourth Christmas in New Orleans. We hope that those who met Jesus today will only have Jesus working inside of them.