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Christmas Eve carillon concert to celebrate WWI truce

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Carilloneur Jonathan Lehrer, who has played at the The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, during Christmas week since 2008, will once again play the 49 bell carillon following the 4 p.m. Family Christmas Eve Eucharist and at 9:15 p.m. prior to the 10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Choral Eucharist.

This year the St. John’s carillon joins a world-wide celebration recognizing the spontaneous truce that occurred in Messines, Belgium during World War I.  Carillonneurs worldwide have been invited to join in this moment of hope and humanity with the playing of the classic “Silent Night” the inaugurated the truce, according to a press release.  The first carillon to begin is at the Peace Carillon in Messine.  As of this release, 78 carillons across 11 countries will join in commemoration of the truce, including Belgium, France, Ireland, Great Brittan, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Japan and the U.S, including St John’s of Spokane.

The day after the spontaneous truce, Christmas morning, British, Belgian and French and German soldiers held joint religious  services and helped to bury each other’s dead. Throughout the day they shared tea and coffee, wine, beer and cognac, chocolate and food sent from home. They swapped cap badges and buttons, showed one another photographs of their families and loved ones.  They even posed for photographs.  They played soccer and had bicycle races.  British historian Piers Brendon called it “the most extraordinary celebration of Christmas since those notable goings-on in Bethlehem.”

All are welcome to attend the concert.

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

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