What you will need: 5 candles and matches. If possible: A CD or tape of Christmas carols and the lyrics printed out for each person.
The following readings come from the texts of traditional Christmas carols. Assign each reading to those in your group who feel comfortable reading out loud. Give each narrator an unlit candle. Begin with a fairly dark room.
Pray. And then light the first narrator's candle, and have him/her read by the candle that he/she is holding. When he/she is finished reading have him/her light the second narrator's candle. Continue until everyone has read their parts.
*** If possible, sing a Christmas carol or two (or more) to conclude this time of worship.
In the little village of Bethlehem, there lay a Child one day,
And the sky was bright with a holy light o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Alleluia! O how the angels sang.
Alleluia! How it rang!
And the sky was bright with a holy light,
'twas the birthday of a King!
The Birthday of a King,
by W.H. Neidlinger
O holy night the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices.
O night when Christ was born!
O night divine! O night, O night divine!
O Holy Night
by J. Dwight
O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
And order all things far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in its ways to go.
O come, Desire of nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole earth with heaven's peace.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Come, Thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
You are the Joy of every longing heart.
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
by Charles Wesley
Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
Joy to the world! The savior reigns:
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and flocks, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Joy to the World
by Isaac Watts