Home News Local news Seniors Get Christmas Spirit Wrapped in the Gift of Song

Seniors Get Christmas Spirit Wrapped in the Gift of Song


Dec. 24, 2006 — The Millennium Choir spread a little holiday cheer Sunday as they sang Christmas carols and recited spiritual verses to residents of the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged.
The choir also surprised the residents and staff with a donation of much-needed supplies.
"The residents look forward to any performance they have here," said Ella Laurine, the nurse in charge.
"They are glad to see new faces and people they have not seen in a while," agreed nurse assistant Alexis Roberts.
Organ music resonated through the spacious, pleasant grounds of the facility and a cool, steady breeze tempered the rays of the sun. Soon voices blending in harmony, singing traditional Christmas carols, began to fill the air. Staff members brought the eager residents to the breezy gazebo in the middle of the facility. They came mostly in wheelchairs or assisted by walkers and canes. One resident was even wheeled to the event in his portable hospital bed.
But once the music began, the residents, most of them well over 70, forgot the burdens of time and began swaying and tapping their feet to the familiar holiday songs.
Songs like "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Away in a Manger" and other holiday favorites were interspersed with Bible verses recounting the birth of Christ and presents given by the three kings. Emile Henderson's solo rendition of "O Holy Night" had the audience enraptured by his clear, rich voice. Franz Delemos used his talents on the harmonica to create a memorable performance of "The Brightest and the Best."
This is the second year the choir has visited the facility during the holidays, according to director Alvin M. Milligan. "Most of the residents cannot get out to church, so we bring the praise and worship to them so they can be a part of the Christmas spirit," Milligan said.
Milligan has many years of experience under his belt playing organ for both the Catholic and Moravian churches. He organized the choir six years ago, bringing together members from a mixture of denominations. The choir has approximately 60 members, Milligan said, with about 35 participating in Sunday's event.
The choir not only gave the gift of song and praise, but the members also pooled their resources and made a donation of much-needed supplies to the residents. The staff presented residents with a large, brightly wrapped box containing towels and other personal-hygiene items.
The session, which lasted about an hour, ended with a rousing rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" before residents were assisted back to their rooms.
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