On November 28, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, popularly known as the Mormon Church, took over 27 Times Square billboards as part of its annual Light the World campaign to remind the world of the real reason for Christmas.
At the start of the presentation, the screens in Times Square went black. A moment later the words of the world-famous carol “Silent Night” appeared in the darkness, written in various languages. Then, the inscriptions turned into figures of the Holy Family.
A fanciful presentation showed angels announcing the glad tidings to the shepherds. Subsequent scenes showed the journey of the Wise Men from the East and finally the baby Jesus himself.
The luminous spectacle was crowned by the display of the entire Christmas nativity scene. Accompanying it was the inscription “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12). But there was also a message calling for action: “This Christmas, share His light by letting your own light shine for others.”
Teaming up for those in need
How do they suggest that viewers of the spectacle let their light shine? Also part of the initiative are “vending machines” that allow people to donate to people in need around the world. Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New York are partners in the initiative, along with nine national and global nonprofit organizations. Among them are the Red Cross and UNICEF, according to a website belonging to the LDS Church.
Three machines were unveiled on November 27 in Times Square and were subsequently relocated to the Catholic Church of Our Savior on Park Avenue in Manhattan; others are located at 60 locations in seven countries.