Wednesday, December 16, 2009

YOUR GRACE STILL AMAZES ME: Silvie Paladino

For many years I was in the habit of being grumpy for just about all of Advent. The reason, of course, is that while in our tradition we try to observe the season as the Church intended, the world around us was already into Christmas carols and Santa Claus songs. It seemed a bit like getting straight to Easter Day without journeying through Holy Week.

Now, I still think we should try to keep a “proper” Advent observance when we can. It’s good for us to ponder the “four last things” and focus on the return of Jesus in glory to wind up human history. And what could possibly rival a really well done “Advent Lessons and Carols” service, climaxing with the triumphant hymn, “Lo, he comes with clouds descending . . .?”

But I now think that we should give up being grumpy about Christmas carols in Advent . . . especially the secular kind of “Carols by Candelight” that have evolved into mega performances with vast numbers of entertainers singing with massed choirs and orchestras. Why? I have noticed that in recent years at least some of these events involve good and devout people who work really work hard to convey something of the authentic Gospel. In Australia we have a handful of entertainers of different traditions whose real Christian faith has a capacity to reach people on such occasions when the words of a preacher would almost certainly fall on deaf ears.

Take Silvie Paladino, for example, quite clearly one of our most versatile and talented entertainers performing throughout Australia, Asia and London’s West End. Through key theatrical roles, solo concert performances, as well as entertaining at major sporting events (including her rendition of the National Anthem at the AFL grand final!), Silvie has become a household name. (Visit her website HERE.)

Each year Silvie sings at Australia’s largest and most spectacular Carols by Candelight in the Melbourne Myer Music Bowl. It is televised nationally. She always manages to re-focus the attention onto Jesus, not just the baby Jesus of the manger, but the Saviour who reaches out to us now with his love and healing, and the Lord of glory who will reign for ever and ever. Her sincere devotion turns a secular crowd - if just for a few minutes - into a congregation as she sings the Lord’s praises.

This video is of Silvie Paladino singing “Your grace still amazes me” at the 2006 Carols by Candelight. I'm sure it will be a blessing to you.


1 comments:

Louise Edna said...

I AM SO DEEPLY BLESSED BY EXPERIENCING SYLVIE SINGING SUCH POIGNANT SONGS OF WORSHIP THAT REACH INTO MY HUMAN HEART AND TRANSCEND THROUGH TO MY SOUL. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU SILVIE. YOU MADE MY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL. I'D LOVE TO SING WITH YOU. WHAT A BLESSING THAT WOULD BE

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