The festivities begin with Monday’s Lessons and Carols at 7:30 p.m. at the Rogers Center for the Arts. Merrimack Schola will perform timeless carols such as “Ave Maria,” and the crowd will be encouraged to sing along with other holiday favorites like “Joy to the World,” said Director of Campus Music Activities Hugh Hinton.
“It’s a wonderful time,” Hinton said. “We hope there will be a spirit of peace and joy that will come across — that feeling of advent expectation. We invite people to take an hour out of their daily hustle and bustle to focus on the true meaning of the season.”
The following day at 5:15 p.m., President Christopher Hopey will be joined by children of Merrimack community members to light the Christmas tree during the annual Celebration of Light and Hope in the Rogers Center lobby. Immediately following the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and some of their elf friends will make an appearance in the DiCroce Family Lobby inside the Merrimack Athletics Complex, where food and beverages will be served, and Lawler Rink will be open for public skating.
“It’s an opportunity to gather as a community and experience a lovely evening of Christmas spirit, community and family,” said Fr. Raymond Duglos, O.S.A., vice president of mission and ministry.
Continuing a decade-long tradition, the Office of Campus Ministry is teaming with Key Program Inc. for a Holiday Gift Card Drive to benefit teens at two residential group homes in Methuen, Massachusetts. Faculty, staff and students are encourage to donate cash or gift cards of at least $25 toward the drive. Those donating at least $5 will receive a free pair of socks. Donations may be dropped off at the Office of Campus Ministry, Sakowich 350, or during the Dec. 5 tree-lighting ceremony.