SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — All this week, people have been coming together to celebrate and recognize the season and its traditions.
Last December, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church in Sioux Falls was badly damaged by a fire. But now, the church is revitalized, and Wednesday people were able to celebrate Christmas inside their shining sanctuary.
You’re probably familiar with the English rendition of “Silent Night.” A moment later, it switches to Spanish. Same tune, just a little different- hardly the dramatic transformation that the church underwent from the wake of last December’s fire to how it looked Wednesday for Christmas.
“It’s been a huge blessing and a gift to be able to celebrate mass here for Christmas in this new sanctuary and to just enjoy the beauty of it but to allow it to draw people’s hearts and minds closer to God,” Father Kristopher Cowles said.
Martin Lopez of Sioux Falls is a member of this parish.
“God renews and we continue forward,” Lopez said in Spanish. “We are happy to see this church so pretty.”
And all these Christmas decorations translate to any language.
“The small additions of the wreaths, as well as the garland, the nativity scene, the trees, all dressed up as beautiful as possible, all of these things, while they don’t make Christmas, they aid Christmas, they draw you more deeply into the season,” Cowles said.
His description of this whole scene may as well be just another translation, or another verse, perhaps, for “Silent Night.”
“It’s such a beautiful experience,” Cowles said. “For me, it’s just a sense of peace with the entire celebration of Christmas, because we’re not worrying about where we’re celebrating it at, we’re able to just enter in.”