features

Holy Cross Tree Lighting Ceremony 2020

Grace Bromage ‘23

Chief Features Editor

Although much has changed in the past year, Holy Cross maintained its tradition of the annual tree lighting. The ceremony originally aired on Thursday, December 10th at 6:30 p.m. and featured performances from four of the Holy Cross music groups. The event concluded with a message from Fr. Boroughs and the lighting of the tree

Grace Doern ’21 and Matt Sexton ’22, the co-chairs of the Purple Key Society, opened the ceremony with thoughtful words spoken from their festively decorated homes. While admitting that this virtual format was not the same as campus, the two co-chairs found that this year’s virtual format allowed for the audience to include alumni, parents, and grandparents in addition to students and faculty members.

The first performance of the evening night was “Last Christmas” sung by The Delilahs. Four members sang solos before sharing the screen for the final chorus and outro while images from their past Christmas celebrations played during the instrumental pieces. This performance was followed by “Off the Record’s” performance of “White Christmas.” All eight members were featured on the same screen throughout the song, creating a mix of harmonies, melodies, and even some beat boxing at the end. Fools on the Hill also sang as though they were giving a live a Cappella performance when they sang “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” The final choir performance of the night was by the Chamber Singers who sang the “Wassail Song,” with the twelve members dressed in an assortment of holiday attire.

These performances were followed by a brief speech and blessing of the tree from Fr. Boroughs. Boroughs detailed the significance of the Christmas tree as a symbol of “enduring life” and the wood of the cross. His blessing reminded the community of how the tree would be a light in the darkness in the same way that Jesus can be a light for Christians to live out his message of hope and love. 

With a countdown from Grace Doern and Matt Sexton, the ceremony concluded with the two trees and wreath outside of O’Kane lighting up the night.

Graphic design by Olivia Lynch ’24

Though many of us certainly miss the hot chocolate and friendly laughter found at past tree lightings, we can still appreciate the magic that comes from these moments of community and holiday spirit. In an email, Grace Doern commented that, “this year more than ever, sharing traditions like the Tree Lighting is important to bring everyone together, spread the spirit of Christmas and remind us that even though we’re far apart, we are still a connected Holy Cross community.” Doern mentioned that the show “faced the same challenges that everyone has virtually throughout the pandemic, but all the groups involved were really excited to be a part of it and put in a lot of effort to help this HC tradition come together.”

The tree lighting ceremony is available on YouTube for anyone who wishes to view it. The link can be found here: https://youtu.be/cxwjZ5UdpZw

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