Worship service to celebrate joy of holidays

By Julia Eckardt

December brings the hectic craze of the rapidly approaching holidays, pressure to ace every final, rushing to finish up end of the year projects and preparing for a month-long return home.

The Baylor Institute of Religion is extending an open invitation to the Baylor and Waco communities to find a moment of peace at the fifth annual Musical Advent Service.

The approximately 40-minute service begins at 6 p.m. today, and will be held in the Armstrong Browning Library at 710 Speight Ave.

University Chaplain Dr. Burt Burleson and Carlos Colón, coordinator for worship initiatives, worked together to create the music, lyrics and prayers for the service.

“The way the music Carlos writes captures the beauty of the season and the longing of it – these two things co-mingle in the music that he writes, and I think people walk away having experienced that profoundly moving thing,” Burleson said.

Colón said attendees will be encouraged to participate in the event.

“There will be a choir that will be leading these songs and at certain points the congregation will be asked to join and sing,” Colón said. “There will be prayers and scriptures that we will also read together.”

Burleson said the Armstrong Browning Library was selected as the event’s location because it has a quality of reverence about it.

“It invites a very reflective spirit and the music sits well there,” Burleson said.

Burleson said each year they make some changes to the program. This year, two new Psalms will be set to music.

“Its not the exact same thing every year though there are familiar pieces,” Burleson said.

People from Baylor and several churches in Waco will come together to form the choir and orchestra.

Colón said even Channel 25 anchorwoman Ann Harder will be one of the many community members performing.