At 6:00 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, a 66-year-old tradition will continue in Hartville, Missouri.
In 1952, Harold Pool decided Hartville needed a Nativity Scene. The Hartville Garden Club bought the supplies and paint for the project. Mr. Pool used his wife’s kitchen table to cut the nativity figures out on. Some of the figures are over 12 feet tall. It was decided to place the scene at the top of Steele Bluff Hill that overlooks the town of Hartville.
Lights were placed in front of the figures so the scene could be viewed all night long. Music was later added and can now be enjoyed during the holiday season.
The Hartville Lion’s Club sets the scene up after Thanksgiving and it remains on the bluff until after the New Year, when it is taken down and stored for the next season.
A Vespers service follows the Nativity lighting.
Vespers is a religious service that was started during the 6th century A.D. The structure of Vespers has changed during the centuries, but it is basically an evening prayer service with lights and hymns. There is no record of when the first vespers service began in Hartville.
Since 1952, some area Churches dismiss evening service and attend the community service which is held at the high school gymnasium. This year the Vespers service will begin at 6:30 pm, after the lighting of the Nativity Scene.
Six area churches have committed and volunteered to participate in the service. Everyone is encouraged to attend. It will be an awesome way to begin the Holiday Season.
For more information, contact Joan Meigs @ 417-741-6890, Vicki Stewart @ 417-668-5827, or Karen Sinning @ 417-668-5994.