The first Advent Service of Word and Song service was held at Holy Family Parish in Luzerne on Dec. 9, 2021. (Photo/Catholic Television)

LUZERNE – Musicians from three local parishes came together once again this year to the delight of crowds in two counties.

This year marks the twelfth year that Holy Family Parish in Luzerne, Saints Anthony and Rocco Parish in Dunmore and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Dunmore have collaborated for an Advent Service of Word and Song.

This year’s theme was “Light and Life to all He brings.”

The first service was held Dec. 9 at Holy Family Parish in Luzerne while the second service was held Dec. 12 at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Dunmore.

“Separately, we’re all pretty good but together we’re really great,” Linda Houck, music director, Holy Family Parish, said. “It brings the Gospel message and the Advent message of hope to so many more people than we could reach independently.”

Father David Cappelloni helped to develop the partnership more than a decade ago. He was first pastor at Holy Family until 2007 before moving to Saints Anthony and Rocco Parish. He  suggested bringing the music ministries together.

“It is really a great sound and there’s not many places that can produce that kind of sound with that number of people. People are excited to be a part of it,” Father Cappelloni said. “It does remind us of what we can do when we come together to make a joyful noise for God.”

Each year, scripture readings and songs are chosen around the theme of the Advent service.

“The music tries to uplift us and to remind us what the purpose of the scripture is,” Father added.

Donna Piekanski, a musician from Holy Family Parish, enjoys being a part of the joint choir.

“It’s hard not to cry because it brings joy. You want to give that joy to everybody,” she said.

If you missed the recent performances, the collaboration is being featured on this month’s “Our Faith Our Diocese” program on CTV: Catholic Television. The next airing of the program will be Monday, Dec. 20, at 11:00 a.m.