Students celebrate Christmas with annual Liturgy

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Photo credit/ Bethany Wade

The altar in the Marian Chapel was decorated with holiday spirit for the liturgy.

Bethany Wade , Photographer

Students gathered in the Marian Chapel on Sunday evening to celebrate Christmas a bit early.

The annual Christmas Liturgy took place at 4:30 p.m., replacing the usual 7:30 p.m. mass on Sundays. The Liturgy was open to students, faculty, staff and community members.

The chapel was decorated with the holiday in mind, as three trees stood behind the alter, and candles lined the windowsills.

Reverend Joseph Elston, who conducted the mass, enjoys the merriment the tradition brings to campus each year.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s nice how a lot of people get dressed up and join together for the Liturgy and dinner. Plus, a lot of the commuter students come, which doesn’t happen as much during our regular masses.”
His sermon for the Liturgy focused on keeping a positive outlook during the holiday season.

“We’re waiting to celebrate [Jesus’] birthday,” he said during his sermon. “We’re waiting to thank Christ for the good things he brought into our world.”

Jessie Rice, a sophomore early childhood and special education major, found his sermon emotionally touching.

“Tragedy happens,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you should focus on during this season.”

Following the mass, students gathered in the Nazareth Student Center Upper Main Dining Hall and the Fireplace Lounge to enjoy a Christmas dinner.

At the dinner, the Chamber Singers performed prior to the meal. Students were able to enjoy a buffet of prime rib, turkey, shrimp, pasta and more.

“It’s a great time for as many people as possible to come together for a Christmas celebration,” Elston said.

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