Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Notes
Note 1: Each reader reads the statement below and lights an Advent candle.
|As we light the Advent candle of HOPE, we come to celebrate Christís birth. To celebrate Christmas is to hope, to remember, and to prepare for something great to happen. May we become a people of hope in the midst of our world.
|We light the Advent candle of PEACE and thank our eternal God for sending the Prince of Peace into our world and offering us peace. May we also be givers of peace when we, like the wise men, still worship our king.
|We light the Advent candle of LOVE and remember that God came to us in love through Jesus Christ. We look forward to celebrating his birthday with a new sense of love for each other. "Let us love one another, for love is of God."
|As we light the Advent candle of JOY, may we too sense the excitement in the air. May we feel joy in our lives and share it with those around us. Help us to have the joy that does not depend upon earthly happiness, but instead depends upon our gracious God.
|We light the CHRIST candle to tell us that Jesus is born. Tomorrow is Christmas, a day of gifts and love and laughter. We do all this because of the baby Jesus, the greatest gift of all. For 2,000 years, saints through the ages have celebrated Emmanuel, God-with-us, and we join with believers all over the world in celebrating Christís birth. Let us walk together in HOPE, PEACE, LOVE, and JOY in the light of God that shines in Christ.
Note 2: "Cradle and Cross" is from Table Talk, edited by Jane McAvoy (Chalice Press), 20.
"I Wonder as I Wander" is sung with a dramatic enactment of Mary carrying baby Jesus as a robed person carries a cross; a meditation statement is included as preparation for the Lordís Supper.
Note 3: If the Lordís Supper is not served, "Cradle and Cross" could be replaced with an additional testimony of seeing love during the Christmas season.
Note 4: Sing to the tune of "Away in a Manger"
A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright
A candle of HOPE in Decemberís dark night
Like Mary we sing praises to the Lord God, most high
Our hearts we prepare now, for Jesus is nigh
A candle is burning, a candle of PEACE
A candle to signal that conflict must cease
For Jesus is coming to show us the way
A message of peace humbly laid in the hay
A candle is burning, a candle of LOVE
A candle to point us to heaven above
A baby for Christmas, a wonderful birth
For Jesus is bringing Godís love to the earth
A candle is burning, a candle of JOY
A candle to welcome brave Maryís new boy
Our hearts fill with wonder and eyes light and glow
As joy brightens winter like sunshine on snow
We honor Messiah with the CHRIST candleís flame
Our Christmas Eve candles glad tidings proclaim
O come, all ye faithful, rejoice in this night
As God comes among us, the Christiansí true light
Note 5: As a childrenís moment, read the Christmas story from Luke 2, perhaps using
flannelgraph, or "Tell Me"could be sung (includes the reading of Luke 2: 7Ė13 during the song).
Note 6: Everyone in the congregation receives a small candle and comes forward to light it with the Christ candle, while forming a circle for the closing prayer.
Note 7: "Silent Night" is sung as the congregation exits the sanctuary. The candles are extinguished.
We encourage all who have original materials they have used successfully in their own congregations to send copies to Worship Ministries for possible inclusion in future resources.