Joy to the World: 2018 Christmas Vespers

Photo by Pixabay.
Photo by Pixabay.

This year’s Christmas Vespers will be held on December 1 in Alumnae Auditorium and will be led by the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. The event will offer a more theatrical vibe to celebrate Christ’s birth, organizers say.

“Vespers is a special service where we focus on Jesus as a newborn Savior,” said Dr. Cindy St. Clair, head of the Music Department. “It is a great time for all Judson community to come together to worship Christ.”

Christmas Vespers will be a collaborative work of Music, English, Religion, Social Work, and Distance Learning departments. The event’s main coordinators, St. Clair and  religion professor Stephanie Peek, have a joint vision of instilling a precious connection between the Christmas story and the Judson community in a brand-new way.

In previous years, Christmas Vespers has been joyfully celebrated in a choir concert, a musical celebration of Christ’s birth. This year, however, the event will take the form of a theater concert. There will be narration of the Christmas story read from Scripture by different speakers, along with Christmas music by the Judson Singers, music professors, and other music ensembles and accompanists.

“It’s not going to be a choir concert like it’s been in the past, so it’s going to be more like a service,” St. Clair said.

The narrators of the night will be Peek and Dr. Stacey Parham, chair of the Humanities and Fine Arts Division and head of the English Department. They will start with Scripture describing the Israelite people in exile, waiting for their missing king, and then share verses showing the King’s return after hundreds of years.

Peek said the purpose of the event is to “craft the service that can tell the story of Christ contextually so that we can put Christ’s birth in the context of the bigger narrative [of Scripture].”

The event will be all about making connections between students, faculty members, and staff. Those attending the event will receive the joy of good news for the Christian life and  be able to reconsider the story of Christmas — a story that is more than just the season of sweaters and presents.

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