By Izunna Okafor, Awka
It was a melodious and sonorous service on Sunday, as the Redemption Choir of the Anglican Church of Redemption Parish, Awka, Anambra State, held its 2023 Choral Festival in grand style.
The event which featured in both 6:30am and 9.am services on Sunday, September 24, saw the congregation smile home, richly blessed through the glorious ministrations of the Redemption Choir.
Beyond spiritual upliftment and entertainment, the fully-loaded Choral Festival also buttressed the role of music as the food of the soul and the therapy to the troubled mind, as were ratified by the mellifluous renditions that oozed from the angelic voices of the choristers.
In his homily at the Choral Festival, themed “Rejoice in the Lord”, Rev. Lucky Onebunne, harped on the need for one to always look beyond his worries and anxieties and be happy in the Lord who is the only source of peace and divine joy.
He described anxiety as minister of the devil that ministers defeat to one’s heart, adding that once the devil succeeds in defeating one’s heart, he has defeated his whole being.
Citing Proverbs 15:15, Philippians 4:4—7 and other biblical passages, Rev. Onebunne x-rayed the nature of anxiety and foreboding, and further highlighted the various instruments with which how one can overcome the two, including prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving to God. These, he said, would produce peace that passes all understanding to fill and guard the person’s heart and mind against the penetration of the enemy that ministers defeat and anxieties to mankind.
Speaking at the event, the Vicar, Anglican Church of Redemption Awka, Ven. Obiorah Alokwu, who was thrilled by the exceptional performance of the choristers, commended them for their devotion and commitment to the service of God with their voices.
The Vicar specifically recognized and commended the Choral Director of the Church, Dr. Mrs. Nkechi Okpala and her husband, Mr. Samson Okpala, whose all children are active members of the Choir, for their dedication; even as he extolled the leadership and the entire members of the Choir and everyone who contributed in one way or the other to the success of the day, praying for God’s blessings and rewards upon them.
Others who spoke at the event include Rev. Can. Clement Izuegbu, who also hailed the choristers for allowing God to use them as instruments to uplift souls and bless the congregation through their renditions, while also encouraging them to sustain their good work and selfless service in the Lord’s vineyard.
The service featured such special renditions as: ‘Brother James’s Air’ (a solo) performed by Eni-Thompson Laura; ‘Praise the Lord, O My Soul’ (an anthem) by the Choir; ‘Show Me Thy Way O Lord’ (a solo) performed by Mmesoma Nwakalor; ‘O Worship the Lord’ (a duet) performed by Olileanyamdinachukwu and Chiazoka Sam-Okpala; ‘Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates’ (an anthem) by the Choir; ‘Whispering Hope’ (a solo) performed by Chimdalu Ewe; and ‘To Music’ (a solo) performed by Emeka Daniel.
Others include: ‘M Ga-eweli Anya M Abụọ Lee Ugwu Niile’ (an anthem) by the Choir; ‘Arm, Arm, Ye Brave’ (a solo) performed by Olileanyamdinachukwu; ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ (a solo) performed by Chiazoka Sam-Okpala; ‘Gloria in Excelsis’ (an anthem) by the Choir; ‘Lord of Our Being’ (a solo) by Desiree Azubuike; ‘Na-aṅụ̀rịnụ̀ Ọṅụ n’Onyenweanyị’ (an anthem) by the Choir; ‘Ye People, Rend Your Hearts’ (a solo) by Rev. Lucky Onebunne; ‘Redemption Anthem’; and ‘Halleluia Chorus’, each of which received a standing ovation and clamorous applause from the congregation who consummately enjoyed and nodded to the melodious tunes of the renditions and the professionalism of the extraordinary organist.
The well-attended service also saw the congregation dance to their satisfaction during offering and other special thanksgivings gloriously anchored by the Redemption Band.