My parents came up this weekend for Christmas at Luther. My mom could not stop bubbling about how excited she was for the concert, explaining that this is her Christmas - what really makes her feel like the season is happening.
As I thought about it, Christmas at Luther has become a tradition for my family. It was eight years ago that I saw my first Christmas at Luther (!) and I have gone every year since, either performing (my first year at Luther) or watching the performance.
I still vividly remember my first [email protected] experience, not having any idea what I was getting into. My older brother was in Norsemen, and my family and my high school boyfriend (who wore a St. Olaf sweatshirt to the performance - blasphemy!) drove down for the show. I was astonished at how beautiful the CFL was (and how nice it was to have a huge Christmas concert in a building like the CFL rather than a gymnasium!) and how many students were performing such high-caliber music.
That year, and every year since, my favorite part has been the candle-lighting ceremony. I don't remember what the song was the first time I saw [email protected], but I remember that my brother was standing in the aisle right next to my family during the candle-lighting piece and I sobbed. It hasn't lost it's magic for me yet. This year, [email protected] was titled "And on Earth, Peace" and throughout the show they mentioned the ceasefire on Christmas Day 1914 during WWI. During the candle-lighting this year (to a beautiful arrangement of Silent Night) they projected images of soldiers from the war. It was a really powerful juxtaposition, which for me emphasized how Christ-like peace truly is.
That, and the candlelight against loved one's faces is just so damn beautiful.