This year, we are offering two Christmas Eve Candle-lighting liturgies. The first is written for general use on Christmas Eve. The second is written for use alongside the preaching notes for Christmas Eve that are part of the “God of the Dark and the Light” worship series.
Our Christmas Affirmation
Advent hope moves us; Advent love leads us; Advent joy stirs us; Advent peace stills us, that we might affirm our King Jesus.
It is time we set flame to this Advent affirmation by lighting the Christ Candle.
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. He was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judea. He was the long-awaited Messiah whose coming was prophesied. The same Jesus lives today in our hearts. He deserves our highest loyalty and total commitment. In Jesus Christ, our hope is fulfilled; our love is consummated; our joy is complete; and our peace is sealed.
Rejoice, a Savior is born.
A savior is born, indeed. Joy to the world!
Christmas Eve Candle-Lighting Liturgy
We have heard the call to keep watch. But what are we keeping watch over? Maybe we’re looking for something that will define us, something that will remake us, transform us. Some relationship, some hope, some love that will make us new. Maybe we’re looking for the gift we remember this night.
O holy Child of Bethlehem / Descend to us, we pray / Cast out our sin and enter in / Be born to us today / We hear the Christmas angels / The great glad tidings tell / O come to us, abide with us / Our Lord Emmanuel (sung or said)
What we go out to see in the muddle of our world is not necessarily the Christ child or the light that glows within. No, I think what we watch over is the world that he came to save: the masses of humanity who think they can find salvation in the stuff of this life, like we know we do sometimes. When we forget. A world that has room for a Savior, even when we’ve forgotten it. And part of what we’re keeping watch for is to see whether we can make room—room for grace, room for joy, room for peace, even at our worst. At our most needy. And most helpful, and grace-filled. Keep watch.
Let us light these candles and complete this circle as we rejoice in the light that shines in the darkness and declare with joy and with hope –
Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Hallelujah. Amen.