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Watch: Times Square falls silent as ‘Light the World’ envelopes NYC


On Monday, November 27, for the first time, three iconic red Giving Machines were unveiled in New York City’s Times Square to kick off the Church’s 2023 global Light the World initiative.

“As we start the process of hoping there will be greater light in the world, we invite all to light the world,” Area Seventy Elder David Buckner told Church Newsroom. “Today we start that as a process of hope and promise and joy that the world so desperately needs.”

Representatives from nine national and global nonprofits participating in this year’s Light the World campaign were in attendance at the Times Square unveiling.

“We’re thrilled to be in partnership with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said Michael J. Nyenhuis, president and CEO of UNICEF USA told Church Newsroom. “We think this is one of the really brilliant things that’s happening during the Christmas season. At a time of such division in our country and the world, this effort is really pulling people together.”

That night after the Giving Machines were introduced, a hush came over one of the busiest city blocks in the entire world. Twenty-seven digital displays throughout Times Square lit up with cheery red Light the World messaging, dark blue starry scenes from the Nativity, an invitation to let your light shine, and a call to remember the Savior this Christmas season. You can watch a stunning video capturing the magic in the player below.

“Times Square is perhaps the brightest place on the face of the earth,” Monsignor Kevin Sullivan of Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New York told Church Newsroom. “Lighting the world is needed now more than ever. Catholic Charities is so proud to partner with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all of these other organizations who are bringing light to what is admittedly a very dark world.”

Since Monday night, the Times Square Giving Machines have been moved to their permanent holiday location in front of The Church of Our Saviour at 59 Park Ave. In addition to the three machines in New York City, Light the World Giving Machines will also be available in 60 other cities around the world—more than double any previous year. The previous record was set in 2022 with 28 cities.

► You may also like: Giving Machines are coming to a record-setting 61 cities worldwide. Find out where

Keep reading to see what people who were in Times Square that night experienced as the message of Light the World and Jesus Christ enveloped the most vibrant, lively city block in the world.

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