Parliament Holds 2019 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols


Parliament of Ghana under the patronage of the Speaker Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye on Wednesday held its annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at the forecourt of Parliament House in Accra.


The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship to celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus Christ that is traditionally followed at Christmas and was introduced to bring a more imaginative approach to the worship of Christ’s birth.


President of the Republic H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, Vice President H. E. Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, the First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Leadership and Members of Parliament, former Clerks to Parliament and Members of the Diplomatic Corps were in attendance to grace the occasion.


Vice President H. E. Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Her Ladyship the Chief Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, Majority Leader Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Acting Clerk to Parliament Mr. Cyril Oteng Nsiah, Director-General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation  (GBC) Prof. Amin Alhassan, notable personalities and ministers of the gospel from various Christian denominations, took turns to read portions of the Bible.


Bible Scriptures from the fall of humanity through the promise of the Messiah to the birth of Jesus, were read in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choral music.


The Parliamentary Choir, the Voices of Democracy, set the stage for the scintillating evening to show why they were the host of the programme by rendering beautiful songs to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and to herald the celebration of the Christmas festivities.


Supporting invited choirs including Sowutuom Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Choir, Asempa Choir Tema, Gbawe-McCarthy Hill Methodist Church Choir and Odorkor Ga West Presbytery Choir, ministered unto the congregation with songs of grace to the Almighty God.


Bishop Aaron Abeiku Apem Aryee ,Senior Pastor, Christianborg Baptist Church, Osu in his exhortation, charged Ghanaians to live a godly live worthy of emulation and encouraged Members and staff  of Parliament  to be meek and continue to seek the face of God in all their undertakings and endeavours.


He urged Ghanaians to reflect upon the teachings of Jesus which dwelt on love and to show affection to each other to live together in peace and prayed for the Electoral Commission to conduct a peaceful election next year.


Member of Parliament for Ho West Constituency and President of Parliamentary Christian Fellowship Hon. Emmanuel Bedzrah in his welcome address expressed his heartfelt appreciation and commendation to the President and the vice for honouring the invitation in appreciation of God's grace and guidance throughout the 7th Parliament despite their heavy schedules and commitments.


Hon. Ben Abdallah Banda, MP for Ofinso South Constituency and Chairman of the Parliamentary Muslim Caucus in Parliament in his solidarity message touted the cordial relations and peaceful co-existence among adherents of the two largest religious groups in the country.


He urged the political actors to desist from acts that may endanger the peace that the country has enjoyed since restoration of democratic rule in the country.


The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye in his message to the celebrants said he was delighted to be part of the 2019 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and expressed his profound gratitude to God for being gracious in seeing all throughout the year.


He said he was particularly happy to see a total exodus of Jubilee House in the midst of celebrants of Carols Night in Parliament House this year and jokingly asked the Chief of Staff to direct anyone looking for the President and his vice to the House.


The Rt. Hon. Speaker acknowledged that the historic presence of the first two gentlemen which has never happened in the history of carols night is notable and symbolic of the religious freedom and tolerance in the country.


He reiterated that one of the significant traits of Christmas is reunion of families and friends and therefore called on Ghanaians of all faith who have gathered as a family regardless of their political affiliations to share the love joy, peace and comfort that accompany the Christmas season.


Hon. Mike Oquaye believed the President, a devout Christian and his vice a dedicated Moslem, are  together superintending over a God-fearing nation with unique peace, love and harmony among both Christians and Moslems in a land of freedom and justice signifying not only national unity but serving as spiritual beacon of hope for the future of the nation.


While noting that Christmas reminds both Christians and other religious faithfuls of fresh need to extend kindness to others, the Rt. Hon. Speaker expatiated that it may remind some people of fond memories and others of bad feelings of trials and tribulations in this imperfect world.


He urged all to renew the pledge to resolve differences peacefully to progress as one nation with one destiny as the nation matches forward in the quest to further deepen the democracy and observe the peace that the country so much crave for.


The Rt. Hon Speaker concluded by saying he was confident that the love and peace of Christmas will overflow into next year, which is election year, and called on all Ghanaians to be united in one God.


He therefore admonished all present to use the occasion to demonstrate respect and generosity for others and be gracious and kind to all and revel in the birth of Christ with joy since the joy of Christmas is shared by all.