Christmas Candlelighting illuminates the way for a very special holiday celebration
by Jennifer Kneuss
There is a peace and stillness about the Christmas season that warms even the coldest of hearts. For those who have the joy of experiencing Christmas Candlelighting in Historic Roscoe Village in Coshocton, hearts are always warmed and spirits are lifted in the celebration of this most sacred of holidays.
“Many visitors to the Christmas Candlelightings say that this ceremony truly captures the true spirit of the season and it is easy to see and feel why,” said Jan Myers, who has the opportunity to experience the special event each year in her role as tourism director for Coshocton County. “Even though you are in the middle of a crowd of hundreds of people outside on what may be a cold and snowy evening, you are sure to be warmed by the sense of community, joy and love that is present.”
The ceremony is simple, yet profound, as Myers explained.
“The ceremony consists of a prayer, music from a local youth choir, a reading of a holiday story where the huge Christmas tree is lit during the reading, and then the passing of the candlelight flame through the crowd. Each guest receives a candle when they arrive and the light begins on the main stage with the honorary candlelighter. It is then passed from person to person as the crowd sings Silent Night, and each person begins singing as their candle is lit. The music grows as the candlelight grows. It is simply breathtaking!”
There are three different candlelighting ceremonies held in the village. For 2012, those ceremonies will be held Dec. 1, 8, and 15, at the perfect time to fully enter into the spirit of the season, which transcends commercialized wish lists and endless holiday to-do lists and parties that can sometimes be more of a burden than a blessing.
“I think the most memorable part of the evening for our visitors, and for us as well, is the lighting of your neighbor’s candle as the singing of Silent Night grows louder as each candle is lit,” commented Debbie McDonald thoughtfully. McDonald is the director of the historic village, but admitted that the candlelighting is always special, no matter how many times a person has the opportunity to experience it themselves.
McDonald pointed out that there are numerous activities going on in the village during the Christmas season, and that shopkeepers welcome those seeking the perfect gift for someone special. Local food and drink establishments provide a warm and cozy haven from the cold weather that often blows through the village in the winter months, and visitors can seek refuge there after particularly chilly ceremony nights. She also noted that there is another activity that is very popular with guests during the season.
“Directly after the candlelighting ceremony, our A Roscoe Christmas guided tour is available. The tour offers a glimpse into the 1800s holiday season.”
Little ones always enjoy entering into the spirit of the season, too, and the children’s section of the village is simply simmering with excitement as holidays of long ago spring to life in a hands-on environment and costumed volunteers assist with all sorts of wondrous celebratory activities. There is even a new spot for 2012 that provides photo opportunities for both little and big visitors alike.
McDonald welcomes guests to come to Historic Roscoe Village and take part in the holiday festivities and candlelighting ceremony.
“Come help us cheer on the holiday season with this beautiful holiday tradition of lighting the Christmas tree and your own candle as well during the month of December.”
Christmas Candlelighting in Historic Roscoe Village is truly a beautiful way to commemorate the Christmas season.