Those of you who watched our Advent service this week will no doubt have been blown away by the beautiful singing of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’. The voice behind the music was that of Éadaoin Hanrahan, who very kindly shared her gifts with us by performing the carol especially for our online Advent service. Not only is Éadaoin a talented singer and musician, but this year she has extended her generosity by releasing a Christmas album, with all proceeds going to support JRS UK’s work accompanying destitute refugees and asylum seekers.
Below Éadaoin shares with you more on her motivations for making the Christmas album, and her passion for music and worship.
“I’m so excited to have released my first official CD, ‘O Holy Night’. It’s a Christmas CD filled with ten tracks of our favourite Christmas hymns such as; ‘Silent Night, In the Bleak Midwinter, The First Noel, O Holy Night, O Come all Ye Faithful’ to name but a few. The CDs are selling for £10 each, and all proceeds will be going to JRS UK.
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but my musical journey really began after going to see ‘ Les Misérables’ in the West End as a young teenager. Since then I’ve been blessed to take part in many different shows, sing out and about at many events and my favourite of all, worshipping God with my voice and leading others into His presence with my music.
I’ve always wanted to make a Christmas album, and this year the pandemic meant that I had lots of quality time to spend recording. Christmas is my favourite time of year. There are so many beautiful songs telling us the story of Christmas and our Saviour Jesus’ birth. I think it’s really important to remember the true meaning of Christmas, which these hymns capture so wonderfully.
I selected songs which I love listening to and love singing. The first track is the Advent hymn ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’, preparing us for the coming of Jesus. My favourite Christmas song is the title track ‘O Holy Night’ so it was a real joy to record this. I chose ‘Ave Maria’ as I wanted to sing and honour Mary’s “yes” in bringing us our Saviour. ‘Away in a Manger’ brought back lovely memories of singing this song as a child in primary school, though hopefully I sing it slightly better now!
I am blown away by the amazing work JRS does. My husband, Nick, works for JRS UK, so I constantly hear of the many projects and outreach services JRS provides, and I wanted to help out in some way. The pandemic this year has made life difficult for so many, especially those on the margins who are so very much in need. It’s a privilege to raise money to help our refugee friends, many of whom I’ve been blessed to meet at different JRS UK events.
As mentioned above, the CDs are selling for £10 each, and all of the proceeds are going to JRS UK. Please order albums online at JRS Refugee Gifts.”