DEARBORN, Mich. – You may be familiar with Christmas tree lightings and holiday lights events at this time of year, but there is a new spin on the tradition starting Thanksgiving weekend. The Church of the Divine Child in west Dearborn is hosting a Community Advent Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. on the front lawn of the church, marking the start of the four week Advent season.
The Catholic Church and some other Christian denominations observe Advent as a time of preparation and joyful anticipation of the birth of Jesus. Christmas trees and other traditional decorations are typically not displayed in Catholic churches until the vigil celebration on Christmas Eve, which officially begins the Christmas season for the Church.
“This Advent tree is going to be different,” says Divine Child Pastor, Rev. James Bilot. “It symbolizes the anticipation of Christmas and will serve as beacon throughout the weeks of preparation; a reminder of what the season is really all about. We hope that residents throughout our neighborhood will pause to enjoy it and will be intrigued by what it represents.”
All are welcome to the tree lighting event which will begin at 7:00 p.m. on the front lawn of the church at 1055 N. Silvery Lane in Dearborn. The festivities will include caroling and refreshments leading up to the lighting of the 50-foot tall live blue spruce. The evening concludes with Advent Night Prayer inside the church at 8:00 p.m., which will last for about 15 minutes.
“Night Prayer involves a recitation of traditional psalms which really allow an opportunity to reflect,” says Fr. Bilot. “Everyone is welcome to join us just for the tree lighting or also for the prayer time, whether they are Catholic or not. If you haven’t attended church in a while, take this opportunity to join us for a brief service. If you’re curious, come have some hot chocolate and check it out. There’s no need to worry; it’s a very simple service.”
Since its founding in 1950, the Church of the Divine Child has been a strong Catholic presence in Dearborn and an anchor in the Levagood Park neighborhood. The parish serves over 2500 member families and the elementary and high schools have the largest coeducational Catholic school enrollment in Michigan. For additional information call 313-277-3110 or visit www.divinechild.org.