Christmas Eve officially begins for us when we see the first star in the night sky for that star is a reminder of the star that was seen in the East the night that Jesus was born.
“As we come together to celebrate and remember the eve of your birth O Lord, fill us with light, hope, and peace that we may share it with others and transform the world.”
“For all those men and women of long ago who kept the hope of God alive…”
Light the first candle.
“For all those who like the Christ Child bring light into the world…”
Light the second candle.
“For all those who will be challenged to bring God’s light into the world…”
Light the third candle.
“For all of us, that Christmas may bring us new birth through the light and love of Jesus’ birth.”
Light the fourth candle.
Read the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-20
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
“Jesus is a light in darkness to lead us to peace. We are ready to celebrate His birth but even more, we are ready to embrace His light and let Him lead us into a life of peace. Let us wish each other peace on this night, in honour of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”
Read the book: The Tale of the Three Trees, retold by Angela Elwell Hunt (or another favourite Christmas book)
Sing Silent Night or another favourite Christmas hymn
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
Note: Some of this was solely written by me, some has been gathered over the years from various homilies and sermons or Advent booklets at Church and part of it was adapted from The Blessing Candles by Gaynell Bordes Cronin and Jack Rathschmidt. Oh and of course the Bible verses are from the Bible.