As the years go on, it seems it's become more and more unacceptable to talk about Christmas and the origin of the holiday, as if it were some dirty secret. But there are moments when the truth shines through.
Every December at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, the theme park hosts its Candlelight Ceremony, during which choirs sing traditional Christmas hymns and carols, and someone reads the true Christmas story of Jesus's birth from the Gospel of Luke.
— Disney Parks Celebs (@DisneyParkCeleb) December 3, 2017
This year, “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth did the latter, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
What did Hemsworth read?
The Hollywood celebrity read Luke 2:8-14, which shares the gospel story of Jesus's birth:
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Before and after each reading, the choirs sang traditional Christmas songs.
When did the event start?
Disneyland has been hosting the Candlelight Ceremony since the 1950s, during the theme park's earliest days, per the Tribune.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH. and Candlelight pic.twitter.com/xHzfH5ijRv
— jonathan (@jaysquivel) December 3, 2017
The celebration, which has seemingly survived the so-called “War on Christmas” and today's increasingly politically correct culture, chronicles the true Christmas story from the Bible through music and storytelling.
Disneyland performed the concert on Saturday and Sunday night.
Who participated in the celebration?
In addition to Hemsworth as narrator, there were roughly 600 singers — made up of 27 local choirs — accompanied by a live, 50-piece orchestra performing classic Christmas favorites and faith-based carols:
The ceremony started with the choir, holding battery-powered candles, hence the name, walking down Main Street U.S.A. while singing Christmas carols. When they reached Town Square, they climbed the steps in front of the Main Street train station for the Disneyland Railroad and up onto a variety of risers, including a section where they formed a “Living Christmas Tree.”
Past narrators include actors James Earl Jones and Dick Van Dyke, as well as “Once Upon a Time” star Ginnifer Goodwin, who led the event in 2016, according to the Tribune.
Way to go, Disneyland. We need more events like this to remind us of the true reason for the season.
Watch the entire performance below.