Prince George’s to celebrate holiday season with concert

Date Published: 
January 5, 2018

This weekend, Prince George’s Chapel in Dagsboro will host its annual Olde Christmas Musical Celebration.

“It’s something we have every year,” said Friends of Price George’s Vice-President Crystal Hudson. “Usually, it’s the first Sunday after New Year’s, because that’s how they did Olde Christmas back in the day.”

The free event will be held this year on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 1:30 p.m. in the chapel. It will feature a variety of holiday music. The snow date for the event is Sunday, Jan. 14.

“Basically, we send out letters to all the church choirs and missions to see if they want to come,” said Hudson, noting that all the performers volunteer their time for the program. “In between performances, we have the congregations, in between a couple people, stand up and sing Christmas carols.”

In the past, the program has included guitar players, choirs and individuals who sing with a recorded accompaniment. This year, Salem Methodist Choir will perform, along with a couple other groups. An opening and closing prayer will be given, and attendees may enjoy punch and cookies at the conclusion of the program.

“The acoustics in there is so nice because you have the high ceilings and up front in the sanctuary has high ceilings. We’ve had bell choirs and harps play in there, guitars, people playing the organ. It’s so nice.”

While the program, which usually lasts about an hour and a half, is free to the public, Hudson said they are always looking for donations or “love offerings.”

“We lease it from the Town, who leases the building from the State. We have to pay the small bills, like the electric, water, sewer and insurance. In order to keep that going and have money to pay, we do little things, like a basket for a donation, or ‘love offering,’ as we call it.”

There will also be sweatshirts, T-shirts and bags with an image of Prince George’s Chapel for sale to raise money for the church. In years past, the Friends group has held a homemade ice cream fundraiser on the grounds; however, Hudson said that has stopped in recent years due to aging membership.

“All of our members are older, and it’s hard to get young ones who are interested. We could always use active, young blood,” she said with a laugh, adding that the Friends are always looking for new members. “It would be nice to see young students who have a passion for history to join. We are all getting up there in age.”

Those interested in joining simply have to fill out a small form and pay a yearly membership fee — $10 per person or $25 per family.

Those who attend may stay for a tour of the historic building (which does now have heating and a restroom).

“It was built in 1755, so there’s a lot of history there,” said Hudson of the structure, noting they’ve had local school field trips visit the chapel in years past. “I can remember when I was still in high school, they had a bicentennial parade and they paraded down to the chapel and opened a big flag out on the grounds. That meant a lot to me, seeing that.”

Those who are unable to attend the musical celebration but would like a tour of the church may schedule a visit by contacting Dagsboro Town Hall. Hudson said Friends member and local historian Sandy Gerkin gives the tours.

She also noted that, while the chapel is not open on a weekly basis, it may be used for weddings and christenings.

Following the Olde Christmas Musical Celebration will be a free Easter service, which all are welcome to attend.

“We have an early Easter sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. People can just show up. We don’t charge, just ask for a love offering. We try to use local preachers. We don’t make it too long, because we know they have to go to their other services,” said Hudson. “When the sun does come up … it’s beautiful coming in that big window. We may have a couple singers sing, too.”

Hudson said the Christmas celebration is always well-attended and it’s a fun way to extend the holiday season just a little bit longer.

“We usually we have a lot of people who come every year. People just enjoy it.”

For more information on how to get involved or schedule a tour, contact Dagsboro Town Hall at (302) 732-3777.