Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Past, Present and Future -- a candle-lighting liturgy

(response based on Light One Candle by Peter Yarrow)
Whenever you hear:
Don't let the light go out
Please respond:
As it has shone for so many years, may it shine through our love and our tears

We remember the founders and builders.
People who had a dream for a church in this place.
People who helped it to grow.
People who created space for worship, for study, for faith to be nurtured.
We remember those who lit the light of faith.
And as we light their candle we pledge:
Don't let the light go out
As it has shone for so many years, may it shine through our love and our tears

We remember the outreach.
We remember how Jesus called us to be like lights set high on a lamp-stand for all to see.
We remember how Jesus called us to serve the least of his brothers and sisters.
And so we remember all the ways the people of this place have lived those out.
Providing a home for community groups, pushing for needed resources in the wider community like a place for people to sleep or a friendship centre.
Supporting the community in which we live work and have our ministry to the best of our ability
And we light a candle, setting it high so all can see and saying:
Don't let the light go out
As it has shone for so many years, may it shine through our love and our tears

We remember the programmers.
CGIT, Explorers, Messengers, Scouts.
Sunday School, Junior and Senior Choirs, Handbells,
Bible Studies, Faith Discussions, Presentations.
Places people have grown their understanding of faith and the world, places people have found a way to express their faith.
As these experiences have helped the light shine brighter, we light a candle and promise:
Don't let the light go out
As it has shone for so many years, may it shine through our love and our tears

We think of the present.
Those of us who are here now.
We give thanks for the gifts shared by those who have prepared the way for us.
We pledge ourselves to make good use of what they have passed down.
We light a candle and commit ourselves to it saying:
Don't let the light go out
As it has shone for so many years, may it shine through our love and our tears

And now we come to our central candle, our light of hope for the future.
This candle stands for those who will gather in this place in the years to come.
We light it as our promise that we will pass on the light of God.
We light it to show our trust in the promise that life continues, that faith continues, the there is indeed a future to await with joy and expectation.
As we light this candle we ask:
Don't let the light go out
As it has shone for so many years, may it shine through our love and our tears

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