Light a Candle for Christmas brings faith into the marketplace

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Home > Media > News > Light a Candle for Christmas brings faith into the marketplace
Light a Candle for Christmas brings faith into the marketplace

The annual Light a Candle for Christmas – now a regular event in the Archdiocese of Hobart’s calendar – returned to Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Mall this year to allow busy Christmas shoppers a chance to stop and connect with the real meaning of Christmas.

First initiated by Archbishop Julian in 2013, the free event – which this year took place on a day of bright sunshine – offers passers-by an opportunity to light a candle before a large locally-made Christmas crib and pray for a special Christmas intention. 

Archbishop Julian says the Christmas event is a way that people can engage very directly with the meaning of Christ being born in Bethlehem. 

“It’s just lovely to see people come up and light a candle, quietly looking at the crib, reflecting on it,” Archbishop Julian said after chatting with shoppers who stopped to pray before the Crib.

“I see mothers come up, talking to the children, explaining what it's about. So it's a way we can bring the message of Christmas alive for people,” His Grace said. 

“This is a way we can bring the faith into the marketplace.”

A Christmas shopper who stopped to reflect, Jules Light, 47, of Kingston, commented that it was a joyous event that helped to nourish his spiritual awareness. 

“I stumbled across this. It gives me a chance to be spiritual. Praying gives me focus. Christmas is a cause for celebration – this is something people need to see,” Mr Light said. 

Choirs representing different cultural groups from across the Archdiocese – a key feature of the annual event – were also present to sing classic Christmas carols.

Upon hearing the singing, an international visitor to Hobart, Zhen Ya Yang, 28, of Shenzhen, China joined in. 

“I am a happy person and this made me singalong,” Mr Zhen said.

“I am not familiar with western culture, so this helps me understand. Helps me understand [who is] Jesus,” he said whilst singing and taking a photo of the crib.

Deacon Steven Smith, who helped organise the event, said he was pleased that Light a Candle for Christmas allowed people to sit down, spend a minute with Christ and have a Christmas moment of peace.