Five candles and more than 40,000 lights were lit during Light Up for Christ, a special liturgy at Columbus Residence Dec. 4.

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, who attended, said lighting the many bulbs and candles was a fitting way to mark the beginning of Advent at the Vancouver seniors residence.

“Advent is, of all seasons, the season of light,” he told seniors and visiting family members in a packed reception hall.

“It causes me to think of the many lights that have been in and still are in my life. Some of them are still burning brightly; they remain friends, mentors, helpers, guides. Other lights have dimmed; people whom I have loved and known, parents and family, have deceased and left us. These lights have dimmed, but not gone out.”

He encouraged those present to reflect on how they can be “lights” to others in the holiday season. “Advent is a time to prepare once again our hearts for the great light of Christ among us, but also to give thanks for the other lights that have touched, lit up, and enlightened our own lives.”

Light Up For Christ marks the start of Advent and is celebrated annually at Columbus Residence. A choir from St. Patrick’s Parish in Vancouver sang carols, staff read from Scripture, and residents lit candles for the occasion.