Home Worship Planning Seasons & Holidays Lighting the Christ Candle on Christmas Eve or on Epiphany

Lighting the Christ Candle on Christmas Eve or on Epiphany

This act of worship may be included in a Christmas Eve service or on Epiphany. It may be used as a separate, brief service in the church as a choir prepares for worship. It may also be used as a supplement to whatever a household does in lighting the Advent candles. If singing the hymns is not feasible, the hymns may be read as poetry.

For additional worship resources for Christmas Eve or Epiphany, see The United Methodist Book of Worship, numbers 269-287 and 295-297, respectively.

Greeting:
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Hymn 223 (United Methodist Hymnal) "Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light"

Reading:
And the city has no need of sun or moon on it,
for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
The Nations will walk by its light,
and the kings [rulers] of the earth will bring their glory into it.
Revelation 21: 23-24 (NRSV)

Isaiah 60: 1-6 may be read in addition or as an alternative.

The Christ candle is lighted as the following litany is prayed:

O Finality.
O final Light.
O luminous One,
outshining lamp, stars and sun.

O End of Night.
O Day’s Light without ending.

O Light, all light,
outshining lamp, stars and sun.

Break forth, O heavenly Light, and reign to the ages of ages.
Shine forever and let no more greed or hatred near.
Illumine and save all creation,
outshining lamp, stars and sun.

O Light, we shall see face to face.
O Radiancy, we shall ever bear upon our foreheads.
O Splendor of Love, the world of greed and hatred ending,
outshining lamp, stars and sun.

Here a time of silence may be kept.


Hymn 206 (United Methodist Hymnal) "I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light"

Concerns and Prayers

Here the worshiping community offers prayers for the world, the church, and all in need, followed by the Lord’s Prayer.

Hymn 725 (United Methodist Hymnal) "Arise, Shine Out, Your Light Has Come"

If the service ends here, a suitable Blessing with Dismissal may be added, such as:

Lift up your eyes and look around;
wherever the Spirit takes you,
look for the light and follow Jesus.
The grace of the Lord,
Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Amen.


Daniel Benedict is retired from the staff of the Discipleship Ministries.

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