Written by Media Relations Manager Matt Thomas ’00
Christmas in Christ Chapel, the annual holiday tradition at Gustavus Adolphus College, will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and is themed “Jubilee: Proclaiming the Year of the Lord’s Favor.” The College will be celebrating two anniversaries during this year’s celebration as it is the 40th year of Christmas in Christ Chapel and the 50th year – the Jubilee year – of Christ Chapel.
“Christmas in Christ Chapel comes as the crowning event in the 50th year of this jeweled cathedral at the center of our beloved Gustavus campus,” Gustavus Interim Senior Chaplain Rod Anderson said. “This year’s program will once again gather the voices, instruments, and artistic talents of more than 350 gifted students and conductors who will celebrate the season’s calling to celebrate with families, alumni, and friends who come home to the College to hear the Christmas message.”
The liturgy at this year’s Christmas in Christ Chapel services will explore the implications of the biblical Jubilee, which calls for a return to shalom, that is, the restoration of God’s intention for all of creation. Jubilee presents the opportunity to reflect upon our relationship with God, one another, and the earth and to reflect upon the Word made flesh in Jesus the Christ.
“The gathered assembly will listen as Mary proclaims the greatness of a merciful God who lifts up the lowly. We will hear the angels message, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among those whom God favors,’” Gustavus Chaplain Rachel Larson said. “Worshipers will be invited to ponder how Christ reorients our lives toward peace, reconciliation, and the common good. All will be sent out into the world to proclaim Jubilee, the year of the Lord’s favor.”
A unique feature of this year’s Christmas in Christ Chapel program will be the use of The Saint John’s Bible. Described as a gift of sacred art, The Saint John’s Bible is a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University and created by renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson. It is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in more than 500 years. The entire Bible using the New Revised Standard Version is presented in seven volumes of 1,150 pages. Several illuminations from The Saint John’s Bible will be projected in Christ Chapel during Christmas in Christ Chapel services. In addition, six volumes of the Heritage Edition will be on display in the President’s Dining Room inside the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center from Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
Dates and times of services for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2012 are as follows:
- Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, December 1 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, December 2 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
A tradition since 1973, Christmas in Christ Chapel is a time for the Gustavus community to celebrate the holidays with one another through music, dance, spoken word, and prayer. Approximately 350 students, faculty, and staff bring the program to life each year through the use of music and visual art. A new theme is chosen each year in order to educate participants and audiences alike about faith and cultural traditions. Choirs, orchestras, and dance ensembles perform at each of the five services, with approximately 1,200 people attending each one.
A limited number of tickets remain for this year’s Christmas in Christ Chapel services. Tickets are $25 apiece and can be purchased online at gustavustickets.com or by calling the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.