SU Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Candlelight Service

November 15, 2016

Join the Susquehanna University community as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Christmas Candlelight Service on Dec. 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in Weber Chapel Auditorium. The service coincides with Selinsgrove's Late Shoppers night, and is free and open to the public.

In addition, this year's candlelight service will be recorded by WVIA-TV and broadcast during the 2017 holiday season.

Since its inception, the candlelight service has been one of Susquehanna's most cherished traditions. The first service was held December 15, 1966, in Weber Chapel and was called A Christmas Candle Festival. For the first 20 years, the service mainly consisted of alternating scripture readings and carol singing. Then in the 1980s, it took on a Lutheran liturgical format.

For the 50th anniversary program, the Rev. Scott Kershner, university chaplain, and the Department of Music will remember and honor the original format of lessons and carols. Professor Emeritus of Music Cyril Stretansky, conductor of the University Choir for 35 years, will help commemorate this historic occasion by conducting Gustav Holst's O God Beyond All Praising with the University Choir and alumni singers. The service will also feature numerous student musical ensembles, including the University Choir, University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Handbell Choir and Brass Ensemble.

In lieu of an admission fee, attendees are asked to donate a kid-friendly food item that does not require a can opener or scissors to open and does not need to be refrigerated. Examples include instant oatmeal, small boxes of cereal, granola bars, beef sticks, easy mac and cheese, mini bottled water, juice boxes and canned beef ravioli, tuna, chicken or franks and beans. All donations will go to the local Meals for Seals program.

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