For some inexplicable reason that can only be described as a Christmas miracle, Disneyland has continued to uphold its overtly religious Candlelight ceremony every year since the park opened in 1955. A ceremony filled by light and wonder, where visitors to the “happiest place on earth” are invited to remember the holiest event in history, complete with traditional Christmas hymns like “Silent Night” and a reading of Luke’s Gospel from a celebrity guest.
This year’s reading was offered by none other than Chris Pratt from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Past narrators include Darth Vader’s alter-ego James Earl Jones, Dick Van Dyke and Ginnifer Goodwin, whose vocal talents could be heard in “Zootopia.”
According to Theme Park Insider, the annual Candlelight processional offered at Disneyland is markedly different than the one offered at Disney World’s Epcot. For 63 years, the Disneyland event has remained “an exclusive affair, playing just four shows across two nights on the first weekend in December.” No seats are offered to the public and it’s invitation-only. Spectators, however, can watch the show in designated standing room-viewing areas in the perimeter of Main Street’s Town Square.
“The show begins with a live orchestra performing an overture of holidays songs, as the choir proceeds down Main Streets,” reports TPI. “As they enter Town Square, we hear the 600 voices for the first time, as the orchestra accompanies their procession on to the stage, illuminated by their candles and the Star of Bethlehem on the Main Street train station.”
“More than a dozen local school, church, and community choirs joined singers from the Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios cast,” the report continues. “The program includes all the greatest hits of the holiday choral repertoire, including ‘Away in a Manger,’ ‘Angels We Have Heard on High,’ ‘What Child Is This?’ and ‘Silent Night,’ interspersed with the telling of the Christmas story from the Bible.” (Read more from “Watch: Chris Pratt Reads Luke’s Gospel at Disneyland’s Candlelight Ceremony, Speaks of God’s Love for His Children” HERE)