Concert and luminaries at Hancock cemeteries
A concert of Advent and Christmas music will open the 13th annual luminaries display for the three historic Hancock cemeteries this Saturday, December 8, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The concert will feature music by the Potomac Crossing Consort, a group of Hancock and Berkeley Springs area musicians who play recorder and strings. Daniel Weatherholt will close the program with selections from St. Thomas' M. P. Moller Pipe Organ. The short concert is free and open to the public.
Sponsored by St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, which owns one of the cemeteries, the luminaries display will include gravesites in St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery and Hancock Presbyterian Cemetery.
The Rev. F. Allan Weatherholt, Rector of St. Thomas', noted that vehicles visiting the luminaries may proceed along High Street behind St. Peter's and then west on Cemetery Lane, exiting onto Baptist Road. A freewill offering from visitors will be welcome to help defray the cost of materials for the luminaries.
Weatherholt stated that approximately 2,500 luminaries are used in the display each year. The luminaries are small candles placed in paper bags partially filled with sand. Each lights a particular gravesite in remembrance of the person buried there and in celebration of the upcoming holiday season. St. Thomas' Acolytes' Guild, Youth Fellowship members and volunteers from the other churches will join in preparing the luminaries. Preparations begin at 10 a.m. Saturday morning in the cemeteries. Troop 15 of the Boy Scouts will perform the clean-up on Sunday.
In announcing this 13th annual Hancock luminaries display, Weatherholt noted that The Rev. Steven McCarty, formerly of St. Thomas', originated the project in 1994.