Virtual Yule Log celebration set for Dec. 1 on social media

As far as Stetson Chaplain Morris Sullivan can determine, the university has celebrated the Yule Log Lighting to start the holiday season every year since 1948.

But this year – with the pandemic and a condensed fall semester — students and faculty will have already left campus before the Dec. 1 ceremony. Still, Sullivan and others in Stetson’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life were determined to find a way to observe one of the university’s oldest traditions.

“The first thing I thought was we don’t want to be the people who didn’t have the Yule Log,” said Sensei Sullivan, a Zen monk and Buddhist minister. “The story is it has been a continuous thing since 1948, when J. Ollie Edmunds arrived as president.”

Hillel Director Sam Friedman suggested celebrating on Instagram, posting short video clips about the Yule Log ceremony. The Stetson and DeLand communities will be encouraged to join in and “Show us how Yule celebrate,” tagging the office on their Yule season messages.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, Sullivan will post 30-second to 2-minute clips on the office’s Instagram and Facebook pages, including ones of the Yule Log lighting and throwing holly sprigs into the fire to let go of past burdens.

In other videos, President Christopher Roellke, PhD, will talk about the tradition. And Sandra Peter, DMA, acting director of Choral Activities in the School of Music, will record two choral selections, “Sing for Justice,” and “Oh, Be Swift to Love.”

Read more on Stetson Today: Keeping the Yule Log Tradition Alive