Advent Candle Liturgy 5: Christmas

The culmination of our advent candle liturgy at Dundonald Methodist for this year. It can be used at a Christmas eve service or on Christmas morning... We'll be using it tomorrow...

Hope, peace, joy, and love. Four weeks, four candles, four promises made by God, and all of them find fulfillment in the one we light this morning: the Christ candle.
In Christ we find the hope of transformation, the peace that this world cannot give, the fulfillment of joy and the love that embraces us in all our diversity and fallibility.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
John 1:1-5, 9-14, 16 (ANIV)
(All 5  candles are lit as the congregation sings the following verse and chorus of "O Come, O come Emmanuel")

O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by your advent here; 
Disperse the ling’ring gloom of night, 
And death's dark shadows put to flight. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Has come to thee, O Israel.
Latin 13th century translated by John M Neale (1818-1866) adapted
Prayer
We rejoice O God in the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ;
That through his birth, life death and resurrection
You have uniquely revealed the healing power of hope,
the peace that is much more than the absence of conflict
the joy that cannot be contained and your life-giving love.
As he was born of Mary in Bethlehem,
May he be born in us by your Spirit this morning.
May the light of your life be kindled in us.
For the truth of Christmas is this:
Jesus is Emmanuel: God with us.
AMEN. Welcome Lord Jesus

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