Whitworth’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony celebrates the joy of the season

Denali Herrick | Staff Writer 

On the evening of Nov. 30, Whitworthians gathered around the Campanile to sing Christmas carols and admire the twinkling lights at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event. Along with the in-person ceremony, many people attended the event virtually via YouTube livestream.  

The event began with President Beck Taylor acknowledging everything that has been canceled this year due to COVID-19. However, Christmas cannot be canceled, he said.  

“They cannot cancel the saving grace that we receive in Jesus’s life, death, resurrection and present reign. Nor can the pandemic cancel the hope and the joy and the peace,” Taylor said. 

The ceremony represented a celebration of what the university and students had to overcome this semester. When students and faculty walk by the tree in the next few weeks leading up to finals, Taylor said that he hopes that “all of its light and beauty will remind you of God’s love and faithfulness in your life and in our lives.” 

After a countdown led by Taylor, the colorfully decorated Christmas tree came to life. 

Under the tree, history professor Dr. Dale Soden led the audience in singing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World.” 

Lastly, campus pastor Lauren Taylor shared a Christmas message about Advent, and then ended with a prayer. “No evil can befall us wherever the world takes us, and whatever it does to us, it cannot help but to serve the God who was secretly revealed as love [as he] rules over everything, redemption and coming,” she said. “We tasted it now, in these little flashes of goodness, joy, like the lighting of the Christmas tree.” 

Click here to watch the live stream of this year’s Christmas Tree Lighting Event.