JBU Presents 78th Annual Candlelight Service

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year the tradition will continue in a free online stream of the service.

SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas (Nov. 30, 2020) – For 78 years, the annual candlelight service has ushered in the Christmas season for countless John Brown University students, faculty and staff, as well as for alumni and the community of Siloam Springs. It is a beloved tradition that attracts visitors from all over Northwest Arkansas.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year the tradition will continue via a free online stream of the service. The 78th Annual Candlelight Service will air on Dec. 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. each night. The link will be found at www.jbu.edu/candlelight.

Because of health and safety protocols on campus, the musical ensembles are smaller this year, but every attempt is being made to create the sense of awe and wonder normally evoked by the service.

“Schools and organizations all over the country are using every ounce of creativity and flexibility to still bring music, art and live performances to audiences. As we looked at the year ahead, we knew the candlelight service still needed to happen," said Jen Edwards, department chair for music & theatre. "Faculty, staff and students worked sacrificially and tirelessly to make sure the annual tradition of worship through music and Scripture could still reach those who look forward to this tradition year after year. It looks a bit different, but we are proud of the work done by faculty, staff and students and look forward to worshipping, albeit virtually, with the people of Northwest Arkansas again this December.”

The service will open with an organ prelude by Dr. Paul Whitley, associate professor of music. New this year will be music provided by the JBU jazz ensemble, led by Dr. Connor Davis, assistant professor of music theory, and the JBU ambassador worship ensemble The Red Steps, led by Jen Edwards. Steven Hamilton, instructor of music, conducts ensembles from the JBU Cathedral Choir and Women’s Chorus in both traditional and contemporary songs, including John Rutter’s “Christmas Lullaby” and a newer arrangement of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Jim Taylor.

A memorable part of the service each year is the singing of “Silent Night” to lighted candles in the Cathedral of the Ozarks. Viewers are invited to have their own candles ready to light while watching this year.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2021), JBU enrolls more than 2,200 students from 37 states and 48 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 undergraduate majors, with top programs including nursing, psychology, kinesiology, engineering, biology, family and human services, and graphic design. Eighteen graduate programs are available in the areas of business, counseling, cybersecurity, education and higher education.

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