Community members joined together with BYU-Hawaii students and faculty for a Christmas lighting ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 26 in the Flag Circle. The lighting ceremony started with a song and prayer followed by a countdown by President John Tanner for the Christmas lights to turn on.
During the program, President and Sister Susan Tanner shared their thoughts on the Savior and his birth. President Tanner explained how they’d been thinking about what to give to the students of BYUH and decided on memorizing “The Living Christ,” which they recited together word for word.
Madeline Bayshore, a junior from Utah studying biomedicine, said she thought this set a good example for BYUH students.
“I liked that they recited ‘The Living Christ together,’” Bayshore said. “I think that’s a great idea. I mean, if you’re going to do something for Christmas, then I think ‘The Living Christ’ is a great opportunity to bring yourself closer to Christ. It can’t do anything but benefit you, so when you have it memorized you can refer back to it.”
The program included Christmas musical numbers from the Chinese, Fijian, and Samoan clubs.
Afatasi Afualo, a sophomore from Samoa studying political science, said he enjoyed singing with the Samoan chapter and participating in the ceremony for the first time.
“The lyrics talk about the birth of the Savior and what’s going on before his birth as well as during his time on Earth,” Afualo said. “I thought it brought the spirit of Christmas as we celebrate the birth of the Savior.’
Although Afualo said his club didn’t have much time to practice, they were all familiar with the Christmas songs they sang back home in Samoa.
“I know it was a little short, but I wish they gave us more time. I wish they invited more clubs to participate, but there were a lot of people here tonight and I enjoyed singing in front of them.”
Bayshore said she came, “because my boyfriend sang for the Samoan Chapter. I wish the speakers were louder so you could hear more of it, but I was really impressed by Fiji and Samoa. I think Samoa was my favorite, but I’m pretty biased. I was really impressed by Fiji. Their soloist did such a good job.”
Macey Raymond, a junior from Arizona studying communications, also had a hard time hearing the speakers but said she and her husband still enjoyed it.
“We arrived just a little after it began and were a little bit in the back,” Raymond said. “Even though we weren’t far from the front, we couldn’t see or hear anything. We had no idea what was going on, but the idea of it was nice and it was fun to be around fellow students.”
Bayshore concluded, “I’d always heard about the Christmas lighting ceremony, but I’d never seen it for myself. So I was really impressed it had a great turnout.”
NOTE: This article's online publication was delayed because it was featured in the Dec. 2017 print issue.