Christmas Candle Lighting (Year A)

One: This is a special night.
This is a sacred night.
This is a night where the darkness wraps us
like a warm, safe, blanket,
and the crisp night air, the drops of rain,
and the sounds of the world whirling around,
add a tang to our celebrations.
Two: This is a special night.
This is a sacred night.
This is a night where the storytellers
and the people gather –
to listen, again, the story of God-With-Us,
the story of Emmanuel,
the story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth,
the story of the coming of the Christ.
One: Are you waiting for the Christ?
All: We are waiting! (The first candle is lit.)
One: Are you listening for the Christ?
All: We are listening! (The second candle is lit.)
One: Are you asking for the Christ?
All: We are asking! (The third candle is lit.)
One: Are you dreaming with the Christ?
All: We are dreaming! (The fourth candle is lit.)
Two: Then hear the good news of this night and of all nights.
Hear the Gospel! (pause, expectantly)
Jesus is born!
All: Alleluia.
Two: Christ is risen!
All: Alleluia!
Two: God is with us!
All: ALLELUIA, AMEN!

One: Shall we pray?
All: God of the heavens and the earth,
God of all times and places,
thank you.
Thank you for
your love made touchable
in Jesus, the Christ.
Thank you for
the gift of your Presence,
with us and in us.
Thank you,
for this moment of Christmas joy…
and for the moments yet to come!
Thank you, God! Amen.

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