MUNSTER | Tradition says Christmas caroling or “wassailing” by roving groups of songsters originated in mid-19th century England as a way to wish others good health.
On Sunday, members of Southside Christian Church carried on that tradition, and began a new church family activity by caroling door-to-door in nearby neighborhoods after worship services.
One of the church’s worship leaders, Karin Coleman, of Highland, helped organize the first caroling event by creating song sheets with the lyrics of traditional Christmas carols and holiday songs for the carolers to sing a cappella.
“Thank you, Lord, that we can still walk around the streets in our country and sing about our faith. We hope we will brighten someone’s day,” Pastor Michael Gillespie prayed before the group set out.
“We’re starting a new tradition,” Gillespie said as he joined the small band of about a dozen carolers, singing as they crossed Tapper Avenue to the home of the Boudi family.
The pastor stepped onto the porch to ring and doorbell as the carolers, including several young children, sang.
A smile spread across Scott Boudi’s face as he opened the front door. He stepped back inside to call his father, Ron, to join him.
“I could hear the music upstairs. I thought Scott had the stereo on downstairs,” Ron Boudi said as he listened.
Asked by Gillespie for a request, Ron Boudi chose “Silent Night”, then joined in.
“This is nice. Thank you,” he said as the group departed.
Several houses down, Tom Feeney opened the door at the sound of caroling, and Christian Misdom, 7 of Lansing, waved him on out to the home’s driveway.
The retired Merrillville High School teacher and the young boy high-fived.
Feeney’s request of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” led to great merriment as Christian began to sway to the music and his 3-year old sister, Courtney, danced, swinging her legs out in jig-like steps.
“It’s wonderful having the church across the street,” said Rose Ann Feeney as her husband went into the house to get candy to distribute to the carolers.
“You’ve made our day,” said Feeney as the carolers left for the next house.