Candlelight pilgrimage in Perryville stopping at six churches

November 28, 2003|EMILY BURTON

PERRYVILLE - Members of Perryville United Methodist Church will celebrate the birth of Christ a little early this year by going on a pilgrimage through town to each of the six local churches, with candles and flashlights in hand.

Starting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at First Baptist, parishioners from the Perryville churches, in addition to community members, will participate in the Perryville Christmas Pilgrimage, "A Walk Through Time."

"We start at First Baptist, that is the proclamation, then it goes from scene to scene, and each church has a different scene," said Raymond Kilby, minister of music at Perryville Baptist Church.

From the proclamation of Christ's birth at First Baptist, the candlelit group will travel to St. Mary's Catholic Church to hear about no room at the inn. The route will continue to Perryville Christian Church for the flight into Egypt, then to Perryville Presbyterian Church for the story of the shepherds.


At Perryville Baptist Church, parishioners will learn of the nativity and wise men before ending the walk with angels and refreshments at Perryville United Methodist Church.

The entire tour is estimated to take about two hours, depending on the length of each scene at the churches.

Parishioners at Perryville First Baptist were at the church hanging Christmas decorations this week, and said they were looking forward to the pilgrimage as part of the holiday celebrations.

"Usually (the walk) is pretty quiet, you get into the moment," said one parishioner, who asked to remain anonymous.

"It's celebrating the birth of Christ. To me it's the most sacred thing," said Anne Sleet, First Baptist Church clerk and annual participant.

The annual walk was organized by the Perryville ministerial association in an effort to bring unity and a unique Christmas celebration to the town.

"Ministers from each church got together and planned this," said Sleet

While participants said the flashlight/candlelight processional is wonderful in itself, it is the meaning behind the pilgrimage that makes the night so special.

The walk through time will bring together different denominations to celebrate the season's glad tidings.

"It's the whole community of Perryville, not just us. You get to see different denominations combining as one, and difference races," said Kilby. "We all try to get together for the birth of Christ, not for the world views."

Sleet said, while participants will be bundled up in toboggans, scarves and toasty winter wear on Dec. 12, every year the growing number of participants say they greatly enjoy the pilgrimage and chance to visit local churches.

"I really think we're the only town that has this celebration," said Sleet. "It's just something different."

Central Kentucky News Articles