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Summary: Christmas Eve Candle Light and Carols Service

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There is a Light

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

PREPARATIONS:

The advent wreath with the Christ candle lit is in the center of the congregation. Candles for each section

People come in the dark, candle-lit sanctuary as an instrumental prelude is playing.

INSTRUMENTAL PRELUDE

Piano plays softly throughout the entire service.

WELCOME:

Tonight we celebrate the coming of the Messiah, the Son of God, promised to Israel, thrust upon humble parents, and revealed to an unsuspecting world. Tonight we journey with Joseph and Mary to witness the birth of this most holy child.

You are seated in sections, and at the close of the service you will receive light, one section at a time. Please let your neighbor light a candle for you. Please do not pass your light across the aisle to the next section.

By the end of the service the light will have reached everyone.

Now let us remember the days before the coming of Christ, and imagine the world of trouble and turmoil into which Jesus was thrust, a world not unlike the one we still have. Let us remember the hope given to us in the coming of the light.

Song "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (2 verses)

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel;

That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Candle #1 is lit.

Leader:

There is a light shining in the darkness,

a light which shines through the Word,

and the Word is light;

and the light is the light of the world.

People:

Under the cover of a warm and quiet night

there is a heart that beats with quiet thunder,

that shudders under the load of fear

that comes with glimpsing the face of the unknown.

He shivers in the night air as he looks out the window

wondering how he will manage.

Men:

Where is the light?

So many worries...

No money,

No security,

No steady income,

only the sweat of his brow and the work of his hands.

Leader:

But he is lucky.

He is not out there in the streets begging for the mercy of strangers,

Shivering in chill night air.

But neither is he warm.

Women:

How will they manage?

the two of them,

soon to be three...

so young,

so scared,

so full of "what will happen if..."

People:

Will there be light at the end of this tunnel of uncertainty?

SONG: "I Will Lift My Eyes" by Bebo Norman

God, my God, I cry out, your beloved needs You now.

God, be near, calm my fear and take my doubt.

Your kindness is what pulls me up.

Your love is all that draw me in.

I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can’t climb.

I will lift my eyes to the Calmer of the oceans raging wild.

I will lift my eyes to the Healer of the hurt I hold inside.

I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You.

God, my God, let Mercy sing her melody over me.

God, right here all I bring is all of me.

Your kindness is what pulls me up.

Your love is all that draw me in.

I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can’t climb.


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