Christmas is Coming to Bear Country

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Dec. 3, 2013

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (Dec. 3, 2013) - Christmas is drawing near, and Baylor University won't let you forget it. Several events will be held on campus throughout December to bring out the Christmas spirit.

Baylor's Honors College is hosting the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service of biblical lessons that stretch from Eden to Christ's birth, on Sunday, Dec. 8.

The service was started in 1918 at King's College, Cambridge, modeled after a service begun by Edward White Benson, the Bishop of Truru, England. In a wooden shed on Christmas Eve in 1880, the bishop held a service featuring nine lessons drawn from Scripture, interspersed with Christmas carols.

From then on, churches began adopting the service. It has been broadcast by BBC since the 1920s and has become a Christmas tradition for many, including Baylor's Honors College.

"It's a pretty solemn, serious affair," said Chris Kirk, director of Memorial Residence Hall. Both Memorial's chapel and the service itself hold great beauty, he said, and attendants are encouraged to "dress up a little bit."

Students lead the music during the service every year, including violinists and small choirs.

"We try to use different students who have different musical talents to help with the music at the service," Kirk said.

Though the service is typically open to Honors College students and those connected to the college, anyone interested in the event may attend. The service will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel in Memorial Residence Hall, 1425 S. 7th Street.

If you can't get enough Christmas music, the Baylor School of Music's Chamber Singers will present the Carols of Christmas concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8; 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9; and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. Tickets are on sale for $15 and may be purchased online here or by calling the School of Music box office at (254) 710-3571.

Or if you're craving more late 19th-century Christmas spirit, the Mayborn Museum Complex will host special events relating to life in the 1890s in the Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village from 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14.

The Mayborn Museum has worked hard to plan Christmas activities related to the 1890s, said Carol Nowlin, coordinator of events and volunteers for the Mayborn. Visitors will have the opportunity to make Christmas crafts, listen to storytelling, participate in caroling and purchase stocking stuffers. From 1 to 3 p.m., Santa will be in the village to hear everyone's Christmas wishes.

"It's the first time we've had Santa out in the village in several years," said Trey Crumpton, the Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village manager. "There's going to be lots of crafts, and we're going to have a Christmas tree out there. Once you make your crafts and garland out of paper, cranberries and popcorn, you put it on the tree."

Volunteers will even hand out free apple cider and kettle corn to keep guests warm.

Starting Dec. 7, the Mayborn also will welcome back the Central Texas Area Model Railroaders and their trains for the seventh year at the museum. The extensive train, set up in the Anding Traveling Exhibit Gallery, will include elaborate scenes of bridges and trestles, cities and towns, and depict both the past and present. This exhibit will be at the Mayborn until Jan. 5.

The Mayborn Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays. Admission, which includes all events and activities, is $6 for adults, $4 for children and $5 for seniors. For museum members and Baylor University students, admission is free.

For more information on Christmas in the Village, visit its Facebook page. For more information on the Mayborn, including pricing and hours, visit www.baylor.edu/mayborn.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MUSIC

The Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Our students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service, and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, the students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture, and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. The School of Music of Baylor University is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs leading to the bachelor of music education degree conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency.

ABOUT MAYBORN MUSEUM COMPLEX

Located on the Baylor University campus, the Mayborn Museum Complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas with walk-in dioramas, including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. In addition, 17 themed discovery rooms encourage hands-on learning for all ages.

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