Annual Advent Luminaria Celebration Set for Tuesday Night (Dec. 12)

Students write prayers on Luminaria bags during a Pack Time session in the gym on Dec. 5. Throughout campus, students in other Pack Time groups completed the same task. During the Luminaria Celebration on Dec. 12, each prayer bag will be filled with sand, illuminated with a candle, and placed somewhere on campus to fill the campus with candlelit prayer. (Photo: Lester Guttuso)

(COVINGTON, La.) Originally scheduled for last week and rescheduled due to inclement weather, St. Paul’s will put on its annual Advent Luminaria Celebration this Tuesday, Dec. 12, throughout the St. Paul’s School campus. The Student Council, along with other clubs at the school, has worked diligently the past few weeks planning the event and will be placing over 1,000 paper bags containing candles in the bleachers, around the pond and along the walkways.

“We allocated and distributed bags to the Pack Time groups and collected them afterwards, giving the student body the opportunity to write a prayer intention on every bag, which is a truly unique form of prayer,” Student Council Treasurer Luc Hebert said. “We also hung invitations to the event on the mailboxes of houses directly around the school in an effort to get the whole community involved.”

Each year, a secret word is revealed, containing a seasonal message, and spelled out with the lighted bags on the Hunter Stadium bleachers. Last year, the secret word was “Lux,” meaning the light of the world or Jesus Christ. Furthermore, a tribute to Michael Doherty was also displayed on the stadium bleachers with Michael’s football number, 36, written out in lighted bags, sending prayers for his recovery.

“Every year, the Student Council is trusted with the responsibility of finding an appropriate and meaningful word to form in our bleachers out of candles and paper bags, and this year we have taken it very seriously,” Hebert said. “After school on Tuesday (Dec. 12), the Student Council and other clubs will meet in the chapel and separate into groups to make the final preparations. We always count on the generous sacrifice of time from volunteers, so if you are interested, please come out and lend a hand.”

The lighting of the Luminaria bags will take place at dusk on Tuesday. Additionally, the entire community is invited for Christmas caroling at 6 p.m., following the candle-lighting. A chapel service, a luminaries tradition, will take place after the caroling. Finally, a reception, which will include refreshments and a performance by the St. Paul’s Jazz Band, will be held in the cafeteria to conclude the event.

The community is also invited to drive through campus throughout the evening to view the display. Visitors are asked to turn off their headlines, turn on parking lights and drive with extreme caution.

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