how to conduct a candle light service

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by ChrisPrice, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. ChrisPrice

    ChrisPrice
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    I have never been part of a Baptist Church that used candles during my membership there. The last time a lit a candle at Church I was a catholic alter boy in jr. high.

    so how does one conduct a Candlelight Service. I get the feeling that I am exected to so and I have not been able to find anything in my library or on the net on how to got about. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Fawn

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    That's a good question. I'd like to know how to plan one too. My church is "planning" a Christmas Eve candlelight communion service but we aren't all that good at planning things, and since we invited the community, I'm a little apprehensive about it.
     
  3. Deacon

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    ...and a follow up question...

    How do you clean up after you've had one?

    Rob
     
  4. annsni

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    How our church does it:

    We have our regular Christmas Eve service which is a bit more "dramatic" than a regular service. We have readings, special music to fit with the readings, graphics to fit on the screen, etc. At the end, pastor gives a gospel message (what better night than Christmas Eve? Other than a funeral....) and invites those who wish to come to Christ to come forward to let him know. He prays with them and after we're done singing (I can't remember which song we're doing this year), he has the pastors come forward, light their own candles from the candles up front, then asks the new believers to also light their candles. Everyone comes out of the pews and stands in the aisles and the pastors and new believers then go lighting other's candles - and pass it on. We do instruct everyone to tilt the unlit candle towards the lit candle so the wax doesn't drip. We have the little paper rings on the candles to help with that. As we're lighting the candles (the lights are turned off during this time), we sing Silent Night acapella. Once we're done, everyone lifts their candle high to show just how much light each little candle shows off in the darkness - just as the light that Christ puts in us can shine through the darkness of this world. Once that's done, we gently blow out the candles and sing Joy to the World to finish the service.

    As for cleaning up? A bunch of paper garbage bags and irons clean the wax right up. :)
     
  5. Karen

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    Or people remain seated in the pews and the ushers light the candles on the end, each person lights the candle of the person next to him.
    The little cardboard rings are always a very good idea.

    The candle lighting is usually the very last thing for logical and practical reasons. Singing Silent Night while lighting with everyone raising their candles on the last verse is traditional. Singing Joy to the World as part of the benediction follows nicely.

    Then as people walk out several receptacles with sand, in which to throw the blownout candles, is good.
     
  6. swaimj

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    A couple of years ago when I planned the service in the church I was in, the choir, after their last song, came out of the loft and went down the side aisles with the last members meeting in the front center of the auditorium. As the members left the loft, they grabbed an unlit candle. The auditorium was darkened as this occurred. When all were in position forming a semi-circle across the front of the auditorium and down the side ailes, the choir center most member lit a match, lit his candle, and passed his light to a choir member on each side. That light was passed on until it reached the final member down each aisle. While the light was being passed a narrator read a succession of biblical passages about light coming into the world while the organ played. Once the passages were read and all the choir members candles were lit, the choir sang "Joy to the World". All the feedback I received said that it was a beautiful service.
     
  7. LeBuick

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    We never lite candles, I thought it was a name given to late night services.

    What is the symbolism of lighting the candles?
     
  8. tinytim

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    Karen and Annsni both described ours...

    When one person lights their candle off another, it symbolizes evangelism
     
  9. Joseph M. Smith

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    Well, here's a trivia item for you. Those paper thingy that keep your hands from contact with melting wax ... they are called bobeches. Ah, zee French ... zee propair word always, no?!
     
  10. tenor

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    Jesus - The Light of the World coming. "Passing the light" can symbolize evangelism. I've even had the people move outside while singing carols with our cabdles lit to symbolize taking the light into our community.

    I've used a variety of "candle light" services in a variety of churches from very formal to informal. One was a "come and go" Lord's Supper service on Christmas Eve where the candles are the light in the room.

    One service I've used tells the nativity story through candles and carols. There are candles representing all the characters in the Christmas story: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds and the magi. As each enters the story through reading the nativity passages and singin carols, the candle(s) are lit. Each character's candle is extinguished except for Jesus. This is the only light left in the room. Candles are lit and the Light of Christ is passed throughout the congregation. Carols are sung and often we take the light outside.

    A good rule of thumb is to have the lit candle held upright and then the non-lit candle leans in and takes the flame from the lit candle. Yes, we do give this instruction in spoken and/or written form. This action helps keep the drips down. The paper thingys are very important too. Also, it's best not to give smaller children a lit candle inside.

    I hope everyone has a very joyous Christmas!
     
    #10 tenor, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2008
  11. tenor

    tenor
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    Thanks for this info, or should I say "Merci."

    Joyeux Noel.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    A bobeche, pronounced bobesh, is actually a candle-ring or candle socket. I have never heard it for gloves. At least, not in Quebec. The gloves would have to be les gants en caoutchouc.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Bob Farnaby

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    Just a couple of things .... firstly make sure the heat/smoke from the candles isn't going to set off any fire alarm or smoke detector in the building, second, an alternative is to use either glow sticks or the battery powered mock candles that are available.

    Mind you, my personal persuasion is that the only time to use candles in church is if there is a power cut.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  14. annsni

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    LOL - We turned off the fire system in the sanctuary with an override ready at the touch of a button with 3 men on the trigger. We also had fire extinguishers around the sanctuary with a man at each one just in case. But we did fine. :)
     
  15. Joseph M. Smith

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    We survived two such services yesterday ... one with lots of little children, closely supervised lest hair or dresses go up in flames. But I still have a bit of candlewax, beautifully molded into the shape of part of my hand, since I tried to ignore the law of gravity and tip my candle while lighting others!

    And then the main Communion service, with about 400 in attendance ... and as I was to proceed down the main aisle carrying the Christ Candle and let others draw light from that ... I started to tip that one too! Senior pastors do not learn quickly! Thanks for a Minister of Music whose stage whisper, "Don't tip it, don't tip it" averted catastrophe!

    But a beautiful occasion as little lights went on all over the sanctuary while the house lights dimmed, and we sang "Silent Night".
     
  16. swaimj

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    A local mainline denominational church advertised two candle-light services on Christmas Eve. The latter was for adults and featured candle-lighting. The earlier one was for parents to bring their children. It featured glow sticks. COMPROMISERS!!! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  17. Jim1999

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    If we, in Canada, had a candlelight service it was always on New Year's Eve leading up to New Years and we stopped at midnight to pray in the New Year.

    The candles were at the end of the pews and not held by individuals. In one church, we even marched along the streets singing gospel songs before returning to the church.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. Bob Farnaby

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    Ahhh ... not compromisers ... simply using current knowledge and technology ... rather like using an electronic NIV rather than a printed KJV ... :thumbs:

    Regards
    Bob
     
  19. Joseph M. Smith

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    Hmm ... but can you take your electronic into the pulpit and hold it in one hand, letting it flop up and down while you chant, Billy-Graham-esque, "The Bible says ..."?
     

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