Annual Christmas Carols 2018 – Faculty of Medicine
The Annual Christmas Carols of the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo dates back to many decades and takes the topmost place in the calendar of the Catholic Medical Students’ Society (CMSS). It is held with the purpose of glorifying in the birth of Christ, with the participation of students of all religions signifying the strength of ‘Unity through Diversity’. The Christmas Carols of year 2018 ‘Exsultate in Domino’, which translates to ‘Rejoice in the Lord’, was held with all splendour on the 7th of December 2018 from 6.00pm onwards, outdoors in the Quadrangle, with the theme ‘Christmas under the Stars’. It was truly a miraculous evening, a night with clear skies and stars shining up in the high heavens despite the heavy downpour throughout the month.
The audience exceeded 300 personages, including guests, academic and non-academic staff members, Colleagues from the other five units of the Catholic Students’ Movement of the Colombo Region and fellow Students of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Visharad Rev. Fr. Edmund Tillekeratne, a former University chaplain of the Colombo Region of the Sri Lanka Catholic Students’ Movement. He was warmly welcomed to the faculty premises by the President of the CMSS, Mr. Udara Nimantha along with the other distinguished guests that graced the occasion including, Rev. Fr. Jude Chrysantha- current University Chaplain, Prof. Jennifer Perera- Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Colombo, Dr. Asela Mendis- Senior Treasurer of the CMSS, Rev. Fr. Jude Jayamaha- Chaplain of the St. Peter’s Chapel, Rev. Fr. Joseph Duran, Fr. Daniel Icalto, Fr. Chrispeen Leo, Fr. Anton, Fr. Gihan, Ms. Tharushi Athukorala- Secretary of the Sri Lanka Catholic Students’ Movement of the Colombo Region, Mr. Imalka Weerasundara- President of the Medical Faculty Students’ Union and Mr. Kokila Munasinghe – President of the Medical Students’ Welfare Society.
The event was hosted by Mr. Alex Vancuylenburg and Ms. Oshira Fernando, which started off with an opening prayer recited by Ms. Diroji Antony to be followed by the lighting of the oil lamp. The gathering was mesmerized by the harmony produced by 150 students representing five batches, conducted by Dr. Praveen Weeratunge and trained by Ms. Layani and Mr. Tharusha Wikramasinghe. The first carol of the night ‘O come all ye faithful’ invited all to join in adoration of The New Born King, following which the President of the CMSS welcomed the gathering and invited them to find peace in the melody entangled with the breeze of the season. The programme comprised of fourteen carols of all three languages including, ‘Tharu Godak Ekata Banduna’, ‘ Candle Light, Angel Light’, ‘ Rajadi Rajamani’, ‘ Silent Night’ and ‘ Winter Wonderland’. The first reading was recited by Mr. Thilina Perera and the Gospel Acclamation by Rev. Fr. Jude Chrysantha.
The Chief Guest later addressed the gathering and highlighted on ‘Giving and Sharing’ as the true meaning of Christmas in spite of the place given to many materialistic things during the Season. The Academic Staff members added to the glamour of the day by a spectacular performance with heavenly voices. The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Colombo, the constant pillar of strength, relayed a valuable message to the crowd by emphasising on our duty to humankind this Christmas Season. A small treat of toffees was showered upon the guests by Santa Clause to the accompaniment of the song ‘ Naththal da Seetha Raaka’.
Ms. Joanne Daniel, the Secretary of the CMSS thanked all those who contributed to the success of the occasion with their labour, ideas, guidance or even simple words of encouragement in the Vote of Thanks. The end of the day was marked at 8.30pm with a Sing-along, where the voices of the entire gathering re-echoed all over the surrounding with happiness and good cheer and was adjourned for refreshments provided at the Senior Common Room.
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