Sunday, December 7, 2014

Candlelight Processional

I hadn't heard of the Disneyland Candlelight Processional before our most recent trip to Disneyland.  As I searched for the various Christmas activities the resort offers, I learned about the magical candy canes they make, and all the special holiday treats, and which rides get special holiday makeovers, and then I discovered the Candlelight Processional.

The crowd gathering
When we entered the park the first day of our visit, we noticed the stage set up against the Main Street train station.  It turns out that every December, for just two nights, a special performance is held right there.  As a symphony plays, the gathered crowd sings Christmas carols as a candlelit choir walks down Main Street before taking their places on the risers.  Then a celebrity narrator tells the Christmas Story as the choir performs beautiful arrangements of Christmas songs.  Not just holiday songs, but true Christmas carols. 
The choir entering the square.
 We were supposed to be on our way home by about noon on Saturday, but once I learned about this special event, I just couldn't get the idea of it out of my head.  I convinced Bracken to let us stay by promising to drive all the way home afterward (and I did, and it was hard).  We found a great place to camp out, and Bracken held our place from about 2:30 on in anticipation of the 5:30 performance. 
There was a singing Christmas Tree amidst the choir.
 And I'm so very glad we stayed for it.  By the time the show started, the square at the top of Main Street U.S.A. was completely packed.  The guest narrator was Beau Bridges.  He read wonderful scriptures about the birth of our Savior, and the events surrounding it. 
 The choir and symphony were amazing.  There was a beautiful arrangement of "What Child is This," one of my favorite Christmas hymns.  And then a tenor and a guitarist came up and performed "Silent Night."  The solo was beautiful, and then the tenor turned to the audience and had us all join in. I don't know when I've ever heard so many people singing together, and with such reverence, too.  It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.  It filled my heart to see so many people taking time from all the secular fun at Disneyland to celebrate the infant Jesus. 

Lest you think it was all light and spirit and wonderful, my children made sure to keep it grounded.  One decided there was no way she could stand anymore (which I can understand), and spent the entire performance wiggling around on the ground.  Another, despite many visits to the restroom beforehand, was suddenly so overwhelmed with the need to use the bathroom that she was weeping.  And then there was the monkey who wiped a booger On. My. Face. during the concert.  But one child stood enraptured during the entire performance and at the end turned to me with light in her eyes and said, "That was amazing!"

I was holding the monkey during the finale, which was the Hallelujah Chorus.  She, being 3, was desperate for my attention, and it was all I could do to block her out as she made this face, over and over. 

When she realized that wasn't going to work, she started singing along.  Obviously, she didn't know the words, so instead of "Hallelujah!" she sang, "I Love You!" Which was actually perfect.  Because isn't that the true message of the Christmas season?  Our Heavenly Father loved us, so He sent His Son.  Jesus loved us, so He gave his life for us.  And we show our love for them by how we live our lives, even with all the imperfect moments. 

I'm so very glad we were able to attend this performance.  It will stay with me forever, as will the very first gift of Christmas. I'm so grateful for it. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You write like your mother. How special that you were able to do this. Part of the magic of Christmas for me was always the child like joy that she had for this celebration.