Festival of Lights & Lighting of the Quad bring Christmas joy to MC

-Tiffany Babb, Contributing Writer

It’s that time of year again when the smell of cinnamon and peppermint fills the air. Holiday decorations can be seen on every street corner, and stores are full of people trying to find that perfect gift for their loved ones. Amidst the chaos, it is easy to forget the real reason behind the holiday season. However, there are several opportunities to get in the Christmas spirit without even leaving campus.

One of these events is the 29th Annual Festival of Lights on Dec. 4-6. It will begin each night at 7:30 p.m. and will take place in Provine Chapel. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for faculty and staff, and $5 for students (with MC I.D.).

The event will begin with the MC Singers entering Provine Chapel carrying candles and singing “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” The candlelight in the program holds profound significance.

“The idea of ‘light’ is a celebration of the coming of Christ as the Light of the World,” Angela Willoughby, professor and chair of the music department, said. “By telling the story through scripture of the advent of Jesus, we are reminded of our need for the light of his presence.” The end of the program is designed to emphasize this symbol by raising one single light to represent the one true light of the world.


Preparation for this event has been underway since the beginning of the semester. The program itself will consist of nine lessons and carols, following a traditional format of the Christmas story based on scripture readings and song. Members of the MC staff and administration will present the readings, with the majority of the program being performed by the Singers.

“There will be a few vocal solos along with flute and trumpet on several other pieces,” Dottie Serio said. “In addition, the congregation will be invited to sing ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ along with another familiar hymn.”

Dr. Richard Joiner, who was a past chair of the music department and conductor of MC singers, instituted this MC tradition almost thirty years ago.

“The event highlights the beautiful acoustics and wonderful aesthetic appeal of Provine Chapel,” Willoughby said. The fact that the event is held in the Provine Chapel is significant because it ties the past of MC with its present and future.

In connection with The Festival of Lights is the annual Lighting of the Quad on Dec. 2 from 8-10 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join, and admission is free.

The goal of both of these events is to bring not only Mississippi College, but also the surrounding Clinton community together for the holidays.

“These events are some of the trademarks of MC and attract large audiences,” Willoughby said. “These range from students, faculty, parents, local community members and beyond. The opportunity to listen and participate in this event in such a lovely and historical setting only serves to make the experience more meaningful for all those who attend.”

For more information on the Festival of Lights contact either Dottie Serio at serio@mc.edu or Angela Willoughby at willough@mc.edu. For more information on the Lighting of the Quad contact Dannie Woods at drwoods@mc.edu.


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