Imagine it is midnight at a cathedral in 15th-century England, with the Christmas service about to begin. Worshippers file in and the choir prepares for music that will celebrate Christmas as a solemn spiritual event, in tones of religious awe and quiet thanksgiving.

It’s actually 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church in downtown Miami, with car horns blasting audibly from Brickell Avenue. Yet the choir Seraphic Fire did an admirable job of recreating the spirit of Christmas as a time of religious worship rather than a secular celebration of shopping.

The choir’s annual series of Christmas concerts opened Wednesday, with a revamped program and the deserved swagger that comes with the news last week of three Grammy nominations, including one for A Seraphic Fire Christmas. The sold-out concert was the first of ten before the arrival of the holiday, as the choir takes its highly popular Christmas concert on a two-week South Florida road trip to Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Marathon, Palm Beach, Bal Harbor and back to Miami.

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