Hendrix College invites community to annual Candlelight Carol Service

CONWAY — For six decades, the Hendrix College Choir’s Candlelight Carol Service has marked the start of the holiday season for many in Arkansas and the broader Hendrix community. The 2023 Candlelight Carol Services continue this beloved tradition while also introducing new music to those who attend. Services in Greene Chapel on the Hendrix College campus (building 13 on the current campus map) will take place Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. While there is no admission charge, reservations are strongly recommended because of limited seating for the on-campus services; seats may be reserved online at hendrix.edu/candlelight.

This year, the choir will make tour stops Dec. 14 at First United Methodist Church of Fort Smith; and Dec. 15 at First United Methodist Church of Benton. Both tour services begin at 7:30 p.m. and do not require reservations.

In-person attendance is not the only option for those wishing to experience the Candlelight Carol Service. The service will be streamed live from Greene Chapel at hendrix.edu/candlelight on Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2.

The Candlelight Carol Service at Hendrix shares many features with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols celebrated each Christmas Eve since 1918 at King’s College in Cambridge, England. The scripture lessons, taken from Old and New Testaments, weave a narrative from Adam’s fall into sin, through the prophecies of Christ’s coming, and culminating in Christ’s birth. The carols performed between the lessons change yearly, and offer opportunities for reflection, exultation, and celebration. A vibrant tradition, the Candlelight Carol Service includes familiar hymns, music that spans several centuries, and pieces by living composers. This year’s service includes the world premiere piece “Mystic Carol” by Laurel Luke Christensen.