The Christmas carol festival Holy Night organised by the Mukkathu Charitable Trust at Chengannur on Tuesday evening was a musical event with a difference.
Sabarimala Tantri Kandararu Maheswararu of the Thazhamon Madhom inaugurated the event held at the Mukkathu centenary auditorium.
Delivering the Christmas message, Zacharias Mar Theophilus Saffragan Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church said the universal language of music had a cementing effect on human ties.
Mannar Abdul Latheef, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee secretary; Rahul Eswar, social activist and media personality; Jos Puthuvana, Chengannur municipal chairman; V. Krishnakumar of the Bharatiya Janata Party; and Vineesh of the Sree Narayana Youth Movement addressed the function.
The performance of an eight-member international choir comprising Useph Naserbaev from Kazakhstan, Sho Tanaka from Japan, Mamu Mahmud Sakho from Senegal, and Joseph Kamiya, Alosious Sanunu, Frieda and Masha Iwamusai from Uganda was the highlight of the fete.
A choir competition was held. The 30-member choir of Trinity Mar Thoma Church, Chengannur, led by Biju Ambalavelil, bagged the first prize for the fourth time in the past seven years. They received the Rev. Mamman Joseph Kathanaar Memorial Trophy and cash award.
St. Paul’s CSI Church at Kumbanad that came second received the Bishop John Varghese Memorial Trophy and cash award, and St. Thomas Church at Punnackad, near Kozhencherry, that stood third was presented with the Rev M.P. Job Memorial Trophy and cash award. St Andrews CSI Church at Chengannur received the consolation trophy.
Krishnakumar, managing director and chief executive officer of Symphony TV, gave away the trophies after enthralling the audience with a soul-stirring rendition of a hymn.
Babu Zachariah, Punnose George, and Jolly M. Thomas, Mukkathu Charitable Trust leaders, led the ceremonial event.
T.K. Thomas, trust president; Fr George Mathew, vicar of the Chengannur Mar Thoma Church; Fr P.V. Thomas, vicar general of the Mar Thoma Church; Fr. Zachariah Cor Episcopa; and K.J. George, IPS (rtd.) also addressed the inaugural function.