It is during especially challenging times as these in which community takes on the greatest significance. One of the meaningful manifestations of community at the University of Redlands is the Annual Feast of Lights. As a result of the pandemic, community in the traditional sense of the word has to be reimagined.
This year, the 73rd Feast of Lights will be presented in a virtual format and will feature performances from the 2020/2021 University of Redlands Chapel Singers, University Choir, String Quartet and Brass Quintet. It will also feature newly recorded organ performances by Jeff Rickard, Fred Swann, Alison Luedecke, and Connor Licharz. We have opened the Feast of Lights recording vault, and works from the 2007 Feast of Lights under the direction of Jeff Rickard and the 1954 Feast of Lights under the direction of J. William Jones will also be included. It will be a true celebration of our wonderful tradition.
The 73rd Feast will culminate in a global virtual choir of over 200 Feast of Lights alumni and current students in our rendition of John Rutter’s Silent Night.
The University of Redlands, will present the 73rd Feast of Lights, a service of worship celebrating ― in spoken word, tableaux, song and instrumental offering ― the birth of Jesus. Although, presentations have differed slightly from year to year, the basic theme has remained constant: the story of the birth of Christ and the symbolic message of the star of Bethlehem as it led the Wise Men to the stable. At the service’s conclusion, the traditional Ceremony of Candles, adapted from an ancient rite, symbolizes the spreading of the light of Christ’s message by the twelve apostles throughout the world.
During its seventy-three years of existence, the Feast of Lights has become one of the most recognizable and respected of our University’s traditions. Under the leadership of Directors J. William Jones, Jeffrey Rickard, and Nicholle Andrews, its fame is nation-wide and much of its music has been recorded. As stated by an early Feast participant and University of Redlands faculty, the Feast is “a tapestry of scripture, poetry, music and drama. Always recognizable at its core, it is ever new in the elements and changes that appear annually in its music, drama and over-all structure.”