Q: What should I expect from Candlelight?
A: As John Brown University has been hosting Candlelight for 77 years now, the service is very well established. As an attendee, expect beautiful music, a familiar crowd filled with faces from the Siloam Springs community, a dark and cozy atmosphere and an intimate environment. At most candlelight services, no seat goes unfilled. Lastly, as described in the title, the Candlelight service is filled with real wax candles and flames, so wear something you are okay with potentially spilling wax on. You never know what’s going to happen.
Q: When should I go to Candlelight?
A: Candlelight is a huge part of the Siloam Springs’ community’s Christmas experience. Naturally, there will be massive amounts of people in attendance. You have three days to choose from: Thursday the 12th, Friday the 13th, and Saturday the 14th. Thursday is the best day to go to avoid the crowds, as the weekend hasn’t fully arrived yet. Friday and Saturday will both be busy, but if you’re looking for the full candlelight experience, it’s worth the crowds.
After you choose your day, plan to arrive by 6:30 p.m. at the latest. Though doors don’t open until 7 p.m., people come as early as 6 p.m. to get their preferred spot, so make sure you have enough time to beat the crowds.
Q: How should I prepare?
A: It cannot be stressed how vital it is to arrive early to Candlelight to get in line for a good spot, but along with arriving early comes a healthy dose of standing out in the cold. Though you will want to dress up underneath it for the occasion, make sure you bring a hefty coat along to keep away the winter woes. When you do enter the Cathedral, make sure you get a program and a candle. Its easy to get passed by in the throngs of people scrambling into the warm and cozy Cathedral of the Ozarks.
Lastly, enjoy the moments of peace and serenity in which Candlelight has provided so well for 77 years. During a week of academic angst and deadlines, it may prove to be a much-needed hour-and-a-half of respite.