Advent Candle Lighting
Leader: We light four candles tonight in remembrance of our loved ones. We light these candles for our own needs. We light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories and one for our love.
Reader : This candle represents our Grief. We own the pain of losing loved ones, of dreams that go unfulfilled, of hopes that evaporate in despair.
Reader lights a candle.............a brief silence follows
Reader : This candle represents our courage. It symbolizes the courage to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, to share our feelings honestly and openly with each other, and to dare to hope in the midst of pain.
Reader lights a candle...........a brief silence follows
Reader : This candle represents our memories. For the times we laughed together, cried together, were angry at each other or overjoyed with each other. We light this candle for the memories of caring and joy we shared together.
Reader lights a candle............a brief silence follows
Reader : This candle represents our love. The love we have given, and the love we have received. The love that has gone unacknowledged and unfelt, and the love that has been shared in times of joy and sorrow.
Reader lights a candle.................a brief silence follows
Leader: You are invited to come forward to light one of the votive candles which represents your burdens, grief, sorrows, all those things which make Christmas a "blue" time for you. You may speak the name or the event if you wish to do so as you light the candle. Then you may return to your seat.
Allow time for votive candle lighting (during this time—Leader will prompt people to spend time in prayer. They will be invited to light a votive candle, and/or come forward for prayer and anointing. Or they may just sit while quitely music plays)
Lighting of Christ Candle
Leader: In the center of this circle (or table) we light the Christ candle, remembering that Jesus Christ is always in the center of our lives. He hears our cries, he knows our hearts and, in the midst of all our thoughts and emotions, he offers us hope and healing.
(Leader lights the Christ Candle)