Caroling by candlelight at Pennsdale Meeting
PENNSDALE- Welcoming the Christmas season with candlelight gatherings may be numerous in our area, yet each is unique. An example occurred the evening of Dec. 16, 2018 at the Pennsdale Meeting House.
Upon entering the circa 1799 structure, one’s nostrils caught the aroma of burning wood while eyes viewed flickering flames in each of the two hearths. Due to the building’s stone construction, deep window sills allowed the nestling of pines with long wispy needles. Resting atop the greens, tall red candles caused the eight over eight pane windows to glisten. It was from these candles, flames were carried to illuminate the 100 or more individual hand-held luminaries.
The event featured two parts. The first contained several seasonal songs followed by Gary Jones reading “Twas the Night before Christmas.” Nickolette Jones of Muncy gave a second reading, the Biblical account from the book of Luke revealing the story of the First Christmas. This was followed by several Christmas Carols and in the Quaker tradition, sung without music.
Guests were informed that the gatherings for caroling at Pennsdale Meeting began with the late Marjorie Nicholson. Some sixty or so years ago, she invited the community which at first sang outside the Sunday evening closest to Christmas. Since then, the event has been held inside and two years ago the date changed to Christmas Eve. Weekly services are held on site, the information of which may soon be accessed on the Meeting’s website, pennsdalefriends.org.
Proudly participating in advancing Nicholson’s tradition, is great-niece Linda Jones of Muncy Township. Jones resides at the Nicholson farm where the home was built in 1799, the same year as the Meeting House.
Regarding the next generation, Linda’s daughter, named Nickolette, is a variation of the Nicholson name. Nickolette is a second-year student majoring in theatre and playwriting at Villanova University in Philadelphia.