December 2015 marked the 10th year the faculty, staff and students of LL have joined together to prepare for Christmas through a service of hymns, carols and scripture. Mr. Sommerer initiated the format in 2005 and has led this special chapel each of nine years since then. He likes Christmas Carols and decided to structure a chapel service around Advent and Christmas songs. Originally intended to be an every-other-year service, the “Christmas Carol Chapel” has become an annual event due to student request.
Mr. Sommerer introduced each song with a few words about who wrote it, the circumstances in which it was written, or the meaning of some of the lyrics. A faculty member read Bible verses from the Christmas story that go along with each song. The service was enhanced by musicians from both the student body and the faculty. Approximately eight hymns/carols are sung each year.
Two years ago, we introduced elements of the chapel in other languages. That year a verse from each song was sung in the native language of one of our students, a student who spoke that language read verses in their native tongue, and the verses were then read in English. Students read and sang in Vietnamese and Norwegian, as you might expect, but also in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Tok Pisin and Ukrainian. The students who spoke each language helped print the song verse in their language and helped develop an ad hoc phonetic spelling to assist the other students in pronunciation. Our students did a great job of jumping in and singing in other languages!
In 2014 and 2015 we sang a verse of Silent Night in Vietnamese. We have more Vietnamese speakers than any language other than English, so this was a nice way to include them. We are thankful to Mr. Sommerer for making the effort to organize this chapel each year. Not only does it provide a special opportunity for our students to enjoy carols and hymns, but it reinforces the fact that the message of a Savior who loves us enough to give his life for us is for people of all nationalities.