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ATTLEBORO -- The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette is holding its annual Christmas celebration from Nov. 26 through Jan. 3, 2021, displaying thousands of lights each evening, while expecting guests to follow coronavirus safety protocols during their visit.
The theme of this year's celebration is "A Light from Afar," alluding to the star of Bethlehem and Christ's identity as the "light of the world."
"A light from afar is all that we need to keep on going through our life journey. A 'light from afar' was enough for the three wise men to embark on a life-changing journey. A 'light from afar' led the shepherds of Bethlehem to witness a transforming encounter. A 'light from afar' gives a sense of direction and hope. We need to be reminded that, despite these challenging times, we are experiencing, the 'Light from Afar' is still shining ahead of us all," shrine director Father Flavio Gillio, MS, said in a statement shared on the shrine's website.
Father Gillio said that the shrine's over 400,000 lights serve as a reminder "that, despite these challenging, uncertain, and unprecedented times, we are not left alone: the light of Christ, our Emmanuel -- God with us, is in our midst to guide us, to inspire our lives, and to keep our hope alive."
Until Jan. 3, 2021, the shrine will be open and the lights will be on every night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. All buildings open to the public will close at 8:30 p.m., and the lights will be turned off at 9 p.m., by which time guests are asked to leave the property.
The shrine's website outlines the requirements that guests must follow to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Every indoor area is subject to occupancy limits to allow social distancing. Whether indoors or outdoors, all guests at the shrine must wear a face mask and maintain a distance of six feet from people outside their own group. More information can be found at www.lasaletteattleboroshrine.org/christmas-festival.