Christmas in Christ Chapel, the annual celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Gustavus Adolphus College will be held Dec. 6-8 and is themed “Holy Wisdom, Holy Word: the Gates of Eden Are Open.” Through these worship services, the College will continue its tradition of helping people prepare themselves for Christmas by telling the story of Jesus’s birth through innovative, beautiful, and spiritually moving musical and spoken word presentations.
The liturgy at this year’s Christmas in Christ Chapel services will explore the meaning and impact of the incarnation from a variety of feminist theological perspectives. The thread that holds this year’s service together is the Wisdom of God. In the book of Proverbs and other ancient texts, God’s Wisdom is often personified in feminine terms. In the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, Sophia is the word for wisdom. Thus, in the English tradition she is often referred to as Lady Wisdom, the one who was with God at the beginning of God’s creative work.
Woven throughout the music of this year’s service, the writings of five Christian women will tell the story of the nature and meaning of Jesus’s birth. The poetic visions of St. Hildegard von Bingen, a Benedictine Abbess and prolific writer from the medieval period in Germany, shape the arc of the liturgy and tie together the main thread of Wisdom with the secondary theme of Paradise or Eden.
“People who attend Christmas in Christ Chapel this year will have the chance to sing new and old hymns and to rediscover God’s story through music and words as it moves from creation to incarnation to restoration,” Gustavus Chaplain Siri Erickson said. “We are called to hear and embody God’s Wisdom in our lives, so that we might join in God’s ongoing work in this world.”
Dates and times of services for Christmas in Christ Chapel 2013 are as follows:
- Friday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, December 7 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, December 8 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, 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 and orchestras lead 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.