The 15th Annual Candlelight Vespers, entitled  Christmas Is ,  will be held at Shirley Meeting House on Sunday, Dec. 2.
The 15th Annual Candlelight Vespers, entitled Christmas Is , will be held at Shirley Meeting House on Sunday, Dec. 2.

SHIRLEY -- Join us in the peace and tranquility of the Shirley Meeting House on Sunday, Dec. 2 for our 15th Annual Candlelight Vespers, this year entitled "Christmas Is..." The program will touch on themes that reflect the true meaning of the season and the peace it offers us.

This time of the year we often find ourselves thinking of all our lists of "presents to buy, things to be done and places to go." The hustle and bustle of the season can be both daunting and overwhelming. Caroline Kennedy describes a way to dispel this feeling. "Sharing the holiday with other people and feeling that you're giving of yourself gets you past all the commercialism" she says. This is what we do each year at Candlelight Vespers when audience members and performers share a part of ourselves -- our music, our poems, our joy and our laughter.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with organist Lois Toeppner sharing traditional songs and carols performed on the historic Stevens Tracker Organ built in 1847. The Vespers program begins at 6:30 p.m. and features the Meeting House Chorale under the direction of Bernard Crane and accompanied by pianist Cheryl Townsend. As an audience member, you will also be part of the program as we invite you to lift your voice in song. Following the program everyone is invited to the neighboring Center Town Hall for warm cider, dessert and time with good friends and family.


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Candlelight Vespers is sponsored in part by grants from the Shirley Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Shirley Charitable Foundation and is provided free of charge. Donations to benefit the ongoing preservation, maintenance and upkeep of the Meeting House are always appreciated.

And for a second dose of holiday cheer, join us the following weekend on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. when the Meeting House welcomes actor Mark Jeffreys and his virtuoso, one-man rendition of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol."

From Scrooge to Tiny Tim, Mark will bring 18 characters to life before your eyes in this classic holiday tale of humanity, redemption and the infamous miser Ebenezer Scrooge who is shown the error of his ways by four spirits. Suggested donation for this performance is $15 with proceeds to benefit the ongoing preservation, maintenance and upkeep of the Meeting House.