SALT LAKE CITY — A holiday tradition for many in northern Utah will be altered this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday that their annual “Christmas on Temple Square” event will be held during the holidays but only virtually.
In a press release, the Church said the seasonal lights are installed and musical performances are being recorded for the 2020 Christmas season on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The virtual celebration 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.
The seasonal lights on Temple Square will be turned on in the evenings after Thanksgiving. The lights 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.
“Christmas on Temple Square” traditionally includes a kickoff performance in the Tabernacle when the lights are turned on. This year, the event will be broadcast live on December 1 at 6 p.m. on ChurchofJesusChrist.org and on the Temple Square Facebook page. It will also include a virtual tour of Temple Square and the Christmas lights.
“The Christmas Collection Concert Series” will also take place online instead of inside the Church’s Conference Center. The performances will take place each night from Dec. 2-23 and include holiday performances from around the world.
On Dec. 6, The First Presidency Christmas Devotional will be broadcast at 6 p.m. with messages from General Authorities and General Officers of the Church.
Musicians will hold the “Light the World: Social Sing and Serve” event on Monday, Dec. 14.
The annual “Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir” was filmed in 2019, before pandemic restrictions were put in place and will be shown throughout December. The choir’s website has a schedule of performances that include those featuring Tony Award®-winning star Kelli O’Hara and renowned actor Richard Thomas.