• Spread the light and spread the Word!
  • Students and community members sing to the closing hymn while enjoying the view from the balcony.
  • Southwestern University Singers and Chorale close the Candlelight by lining the outer aisles of chapel and singing in 5 and 6 part harmonies to the closing hymn.
  • Bryan Tiggelaar and the Southwestern University Chorale file out of Candlelight.
  • Beverly Jones and Aaron Rohre look on as seniors Janel Del Real and Josh Gideon pass the light at Lois Perkins Chapel.
  • University Chaplain Beverly Jones and Interim director of Religious Life, Aaron Rohre prepare to pass the light to student leaders.
  • Kenny Sheppard directs the Southwestern Chorale in one of the beautiful anthems performed at Candlelight.
  • The Southwestern University opens Candlelight with the Prelude.

Due to COVID, seating is limited in the Lois Perkins Chapel, and masks are required for all attendees.


**We no longer have any seats available for the 6pm or 8pm services, and our waitlists are full. If you are currently on the waitlist and any seats become available, we will notify you. If you were unable to RSVP, please join us virtually for the 6pm service. **

Please join us for one of Southwestern’s longest annual traditions of Candlelight Service to celebrate Advent and the Christmas season. The Candlelight Worship Service is adapted from “An Advent Service of Lessons and Carols” in The United Methodist Church Book of Worship, and based on one developed in 1934 for the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. The Season of Advent, which begins the Christian year, is the four weeks prior to the celebration of Christmas and marks the season of anticipation and preparation.

A 106-year tradition at Southwestern, Candlelight is one of the highlights of the fall semester. This service of lessons and carols welcomes our community to the chapel for a time of worship and singing.

Alumni ministers and friends of the university will be reading the selected scripture readings, while our Southwestern Chorale will perform the hymns. The Reverend Dr. Christian Harrison ’73 will be providing the Ministry of Worship.

Additional readers include:

Rev. Dr. Ronald Swain, Rev. John McMullen ’67, Rev. Anne Matthews ’73, Rev. Jessica Peterson ’08, Rev. Fred Winslow ’70, and Dr. Susan Holley ’73, P’04.

There are two identical services: one at 6:00 pm and a second at 8:00 pm. 

There will be limited overflow seating available in Olin 105.

Additionally, we will be live streaming the 6:00 pm service. The service will be aired on YouTube at 6:00 p.m. CST. Click here to view the live stream.

These services are free and open to the public.

Questions may be directed to Lisa Dela Cruz ’08, assistant vice president for student life.