SELINSGROVE - Susquehanna University's annual Christmas Candlelight Service will be held Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the university's Weber Chapel, with pre-service music beginning at 7:15 p.m. The theme of this year's service is "Emmanuel: God With Us."
The Christmas Candlelight Service is one of Susquehanna's most cherished traditions, as more than 1,600 members of Susquehanna University and surrounding communities gather in the chapel.
The service includes candle lighting and carols, as well as traditional readings, songs and prayers in celebration of the season.
The Rev. Mark Wm. Radecke, university chaplain, presides and preaches. The Rev. Ted Keating, pastor of St. Pius X Church in Selinsgrove and spiritual adviser to Susquehanna's Catholic community, serves as assisting minister.
Music will be provided by the Women's Choir, Festival Chorus and University Choir under the direction of Rodney Caldwell, associate professor of music and director of choral activities; the University Chorale, directed by Colin Armstrong, assistant professor of music; Marcos Krieger, assistant professor of music and university organist; a brass ensemble; and the SU Handbell Choir.
According to Caldwell, musical selections will include "How Far Is It to Bethlehem," "Of the Father's Love Begotten," "E'en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come," "Huron Carol" and "Torches."
Caldwell said the service is a bit different from years past. "We have a new ensemble, the SU Women's Choir, participating," he said.
"And with the addition of a new faculty member, Colin Armstrong, conducting Chorale, we are bringing a new vision for that group.
In fact, the piece they are performing, 'Huron Carol,' was chosen in part because Professor Armstrong is Canadian. The piece reflects the nativity story as it was taught to Huron-Algonquin tribes in Quebec by the French missionaries."