Friday, December 24, 2010

Methodist Christmas Concert, 1877

Religious concerts and pageants have been a central part of local Christmas observances since the mid-nineteenth century.  One of the most largely attended of these was a concert held on December 23, 1877, at the Central Methodist Church on School Street. 

On Sunday evening, Dec. 23, a Sunday School Concert was held in the Centre M. E. Church. The principal feature of the evening consisted of an allegorical representation of the Star in the East, or the birth of Christ. Over eight hundred persons were present at the close of the exercises, and many left before the close, and, a large number were unable to gain admission to the audience room. It was, as are all the concerts gotten up by the Superintendent of the school, Mr. F. M. Sherman, a grand success.

Indeed, "success" was a bit of an understatement.  Given that the population of Middleborough was probably just over 5,000 at the time, the concert was remarkably well attended, by both Methodists and non-Methodists alike.

Old Colony Memorial, “Middleboro’”, January 3, 1878, page 4.


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