The annual Christmas celebration at Gustavus is in full preparation. Tickets are being sent and singers are rehearsing for the 40th Christmas in Christ Chapel celebration. Singers from the Choir of Christ Chapel, the Gustavus Choir and the Lucia Singers will be performing along with the Gustavus Wind Orchestra during the worship services Friday Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Each year a theme is chosen to represent the holiday season, this year the theme is JUBILEE: Proclaiming the Year of the Lord’s Favor. The inspiration for the celebration is the Saint John’s Bible, which is the first hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University and created by Donald Jackson. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Christmas in Christ Chapel as well as the 50th anniversary of Christ Chapel, tying directly to the celebratory theme of JUBILEE.
“There is a lot of focus on Mary, which is really cool and having the image of Jesus being born is a really interesting and awesome focal point of the celebration,” Senior Tristan Richards said.
“The worship services scriptural basis is from Leviticus 25:8-11a which calls for a year in which a ’big Sabbath’ includes rest for land and the forgiveness of debt to level the economic playing field,” Chaplain Rod Anderson said.
“The foundation of musicianship and ensemble collaboration is nurtured throughout the semester in our daily class setting,” Professor in Music and Music-Vocal and director of the Lucia Singers and the Choir of Christ Chapel Brandon Dean said.
This year’s worship service will be different than years before as they will be projecting illuminations from the Saint John’s Bible. To go with CinCC, six volumes of the Heritage Edition will be on display on campus for the duration of the services.
“I look forward to Christmas in Christ Chapel because it represents the culmination of a long journey together with the students involved. Every opportunity we have together is meaningful, whether in the classroom or on the performance stage, but there is something particularly powerful about sharing our message at Christmas in Christ Chapel,” Dean said.
With over 350 students coming together to perform in the services the community aspect of Gustavus is brought together.
“Not only do you get to create your own memory from singing in Christ Chapel but you get to connect with all of the alumni in the audience. It is an amazing feeling when the last verse of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” is sung by everyone. It makes it feel like we are all connected as one,” Junior Jonathan Warling said.