Christmas Celebration Returns to OBU

Oklahoma Baptist University's 64th annual Hanging of the Green celebration next weekend will kick-off Shawnee's holiday season. This year's Christmas celebration, "Peace -- A Service of Lessons and Carols," will be Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., in the university's Potter Auditorium and is free and open to the public. The Festival of Lessons and Carols has been presented annually on Christmas Eve in King's College Chapel, in Cambridge, England, since its inception in 1918 following World War I. The service symbolizes the bond between the academic community and the city, the peace within the whole church, and the joy and worship of all Christians. OBU's Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts' ensembles, the University Ringers, the Preparatory Department Concert Choir, Bisonettes, the University Chorale, the Bison Glee Club, and the OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra are the performers for the event. Dr. David Byland, associate professor of telecommunication, will be the narrator. The service will include the ceremonial presentation of the manger, the poinsettia, the mantle, the staff, the royal robe, the shepherd's crook, the gold, crown, the evergreen and the rose. The evening will conclude with a congregational candlelight sing-along. The first OBU Hanging of the Green ceremony was held in WMU Memorial Hall. After the singing of carols, representatives from all dormitories lit candles of good will from the candle there and carried the light to their own houses. The custom of Hanging the Green has continued though it moved in 1945 to the newly completed Brittain Hall Library, in 1957 to the University Auditorium, and in 1961 to John W. Raley Chapel. This year's seniors chosen as Hanging the Green honorees include: Keri Snider Bilke, Seneca, Mo., anthropology and museum management; Faith Buss, Seminole, marketing; Erin Cain, Tucson, Ariz., musical arts; Tony Capucille, Edmond, Biblical languages and finance; Darin Chapin, Coal City, Ill., music education; Courtney Connelly, Russellville, Ark., Spanish education; Suzanne Gett, Lawton, vocal music education; Jesse Graver, Wagner, music education; Amanda Harrington, Choctaw, family psychology and children's ministry; Troy Jassey, Washington, D.C., computer information systems and business management; Jacob Lupfer, Kissimmee, Fla., religion; Ginger Mackey, Duncan, computer science; Nathan Madsen, Fort Worth, Texas, music education; Daniel Sanders, Chickasha, marketing and management; Conor Scholes, Pratt, Kan., church music; Stephanie Seila, Inola, marketing; Michelle Thompson, Fort Worth, Texas, vocal performance; Sarah Van Syoc, Cibolo, Texas, sports medicine; Scott Williams, Kansas City, Mo., music theory and composition; and George Wright, Shawnee, Biblical languages. Faculty select the honorees according to the criteria of the embodiment of OBU ideals.