The seasonal lights are ready and musical performances are being recorded for the 2020 Christmas season on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The virtual celebration of the Savior’s birth will be different than what visitors to Temple Square have experienced in the past, but organizers say it will once again be a beautiful and inspirational experience.
Public access to Church buildings and to Temple Square has been limited since last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the renovation of the iconic Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues.
The seasonal lights on Temple Square and at the temples in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles will be turned on in the evenings after Thanksgiving. The lights on Temple Square will only be viewable from surrounding roads and exterior city sidewalks as the plaza will be fenced off and the gates will be closed, with no public access to Temple Square. Those walking by are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing. No public parking will be available in the Conference Center or Joseph Smith Memorial Building parking lots. In Washington and Los Angeles, the lights will be viewable only to those driving by in cars.
Celebrating the Light of the World
Christmas on Temple Square traditionally includes a kickoff performance in the Tabernacle when the lights are turned on. This year, people from around the world can enjoy a special Temple Square event and its messages from the comfort of their own homes. Sister missionaries serving on Temple Square will host a virtual event and guide viewers on a virtual tour of Temple Square and the Christmas lights. View this broadcast live on December 1 at 6 p.m. mountain standard time (MST) on ChurchofJesusChrist.org and on the Temple Square Facebook page. The event will be published in 11 languages and will also be available for viewing on demand after the live broadcast.
‘The Christmas Collection’ Concert Series
Christmas performances submitted from around the world will be broadcast nearly every night orginating from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Concerts will be broadcast in English but will include songs in other languages as well. Concerts will run from December 2–23. Broadcasts will take place at 6 p.m. MST on ChurchofJesusChrist.org and on Tuesday and Friday evenings on the Temple Square Facebook page.
First Presidency Christmas Devotional
The First Presidency Christmas Devotional will be broadcast from Temple Square on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at 6 p.m. MST. The program will include Christmas messages by General Authorities and General Officers of the Church. Music will be from previous Christmas devotionals by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. View a livestream at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Light the World: Social Sing and Serve
Sing along with talented musicians as they perform new renditions of traditional Christmas favorites. You will also be prompted with fun, simple ideas on how you can serve friends, family or others in your community. The special holiday experience will premiere on the Come Unto Christ Facebook page and YouTube channel on Monday, December 14, at 6 p.m. MST. The full video will also be available on the Temple Square Facebook page and at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square
Enjoy the annual Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir holiday specials featuring Tony Award®-winning star Kelli O’Hara and renowned actor Richard Thomas. Visit the choir’s website for viewing information during December. The special Christmas broadcasts were filmed prior to pandemic restrictions during The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Christmas concerts in 2019.
Tabernacle organists will continue their live concert series, “Piping Up: Organ Concerts at Temple Square,” several times a week during December. The concerts are streamed live at noon MST on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on YouTube, ChurchofJesusChrist.org and the choir’s website.
In addition, “Music and the Spoken Word” airs every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. MST on Tabernacle Choir channels, with Christmas specials each Sunday starting November 29 and airing through December 20.