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Unique ‘Time of Illumination’ welcomed at the Santa Barbara Mission

One of the more unique events at a California mission took place at sunrise Wednesday in Santa Barbara.

In virtual silence, and only the sound of an indigenous song on a flute, about 100 residents came to the Old Mission steps for the ‘Time of Illumination’ mass.

As the sun rises on the first day of winter, with the angle of the Mission, the light shoots through the doorway. The church lights are off and the sun eventually lights up the statues of Saint Barbara and then Jesus above the altar.

With Wednesday mornings’ cloud cover, the event did not occur as planned, but the full mass and more music was held inside the church.

The ceremony remains very historic to Santa Barbara, and possibly one of the best kept secrets.

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