FRAZIER: This little light of mine shines for the Christ Child
Published 8:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2022
One of my favorite things our family does on Christmas Eve is attend the candlelight service at Crawford Street United Methodist Church.
It’s a favorite because, for one, it is like a homecoming of sorts with folks I grew up with returning home to visit. And two, it is a time when our family, along with other church members and guests, comes together to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.
During the candlelight service, the Christ Candle is lit, Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth is read, hymns are sung and communion is served. The service ends with the dimming of lights, the lighting of individual candles held by everyone in attendance and the congregation singing “Silent Night.”
Email newsletter signup
Seeing the church lit by candlelight and being part of the congregational singing is a moving experience — one that just can’t be replicated.
I have so missed this service, as for the past two years there has been no Christmas Eve Candlelight Service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The church staff, however, has done their best to provide a meaningful Christmas Eve experience. During the first year of the pandemic, a drive-by was offered. Members were invited to drive up under the church portico where the staff shared prayers with all who came.
I didn’t go. I protested. Not because of the church staff; I was just angry with the pandemic. It had already stolen so many special moments, and now the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
Last year, COVID-19 was lingering and once again, there was no congregational Christmas Eve Candlelight Service offered.
What was offered was a time at the altar for individual families, meaning there was no mixing or mingling or singing as a congregation.
The service was nice, but it was just not the same as our traditional candlelight service.
But, this year, thank heavens, all is back to normal, and beginning at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 24, I will get to attend the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, where I will have the opportunity to see old friends, sing hymns, hear the passages from Luke about Jesus’ birth and of course, hold my little candle while singing “Silent Night.”
I so look forward to this treasured tradition and hope whatever experience brings warmth to your heart will be felt on this Holiest of nights.