Home » NEWS » Arts & Entertainment » JACK WEATHERLY — Miracle in a season of miracles

JACK WEATHERLY — Miracle in a season of miracles


It seems a miracle, to use a word overused and misused so often in this season and secular age.

The final performance of the 50th annual Candles by Candlelight at Jackson’s First Baptist Church was held Sunday night.

A gentleman dressed in formal black, designating him as a choir member, was crossing the street after exiting the cavernous auditorium in the Tudor-style edifice in downtown.

He spoke with a slight hitch in his voice, a stutter, lifted by the spirit of the evening.

His was one of the 250 in the choir, not to mention 3,000 in attendance, who had rendered a glorious program – including a most astounding version of a song not usually associated with Christmas.

Surely, “Amazing Grace” has never been sung with more power and grace than on this night. At least not to these ears.

Some people seemed stunned and transfixed. Not ready to leave. Others were clearly uplifted as the 3,000-seat sanctuary emptied.

Were there stars of the “show”?

Not so you could name them.

It is our prayer that all glory be given to God alone. For this reason, no names appear in this program,” states the printed program.

Except for the composers – such as George Fridrick Handel – are so long established they seem to spring from the pages of the Bible itself.

The man who in 1969 founded Carols by Candlelight, Larry Black, was there – in video, and in person as he led the choir and orchestra for some of the show.

Clearly a moving part of the program was a dramatic recitation of prophecies of the Christ in all 66 books of the holy canon. Who was that gentleman?

Those wonderful ballet dancers? Everyone knows that they are part of the Ballet Magnificat troupe. Or does everyone know?

Reared and baptized a Southern Baptist, I humbly but confidently suggest that he and others with roles other than en masse be identified in future programs.

Identities aside, it is not too late to experience the performance, though admittedly in two dimensions instead of three, not to preclude the fourth, or spiritual, dimension.

Carols by Candlelight” will be shown on WDBD Fox40 on Christmas Eve at 10 p.m. and Christmas Day at 9 a.m.

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal staff writer Jack Weatherly at jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1016.


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About Jack Weatherly