GOD GATHERS US IN
WORDS OF WELCOME
To everything there is a time...
A time to weep and a time to laugh...
God of all the seasons of our lives, we come here to share in this season of sorrow and joy, hope and despair, light and dark, pain and celebration.
Here we lay our sorrow, our struggles, our pain before us.
Here we pray that we will be touched with your healing love.
Here we come to seek for hope, for light, for joy...
Hymn O Come O Come Emmanuel #1 Voices United (Verses 1,4,5,6)
GOD SPEAKS TO US
Scripture Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
THE CANDLE OF CIRCLES
Scripture Isaiah 35:1-10
THE CANDLE OF EVERGREENS
THE CANDLE OF HOLLY
Scripture Genesis 1:1-5, 14-19
THE CANDLE OF LIGHT
Hymn Hope is a Star #7 Voices United
Scripture John 1:1-9, Luke 2:8-14
THE CANDLE OF CHRIST
We light this candle to remind us that though we are sometimes the people who walk in darkness there is a light that the darkness can not overcome. We light this candle to remind us that while there are times when we are filled with fear for the future the angel still calls out “Fear Not” for there is Good News.
May the light and warmth of this candle be a source of comfort to us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God!
GOD MOVES IN OUR HEARTS
We Light our Own Candles
We live as people of hope. We live as people whose hope lies in the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not, will not, and can not overcome it. During these next few minutes, you are invited to come forward an light one or more of the tea lights that are here on the table. These lights may be lights of memory for what was or hope for what will be, or both.
Prayers for the People
Hymn: Silent Night # 67 Voices United
We have lit a candle to mark the closing of another circle, the passing of another year.
We have lit a candle to remind us of the promise of life that continues.
We have lit a candle to remind us of the sharpness, the pain that lies hidden in the beauty of life.
We have lit a candle to remind us of the light that shines in the darkness.
We have lit a candle to remind us that Emmanuel, God-With-Us is born.
We have lit candles to name our own grief, to name our own hopes, to give us light and warmth in a world which sometimes feels cold and dark.
And now we carry the light of these candles in our hearts and souls as we go back into the world.
Indeed we are not alone. God: Parent, Child and Spirit goes with us to light the way and lighten the load.
Thanks be to God. Amen.