One of the great Christmas traditions I've been invovled in was the University of Tennessee's Wesley Foundation's Candlelight Service. The Wesley Foundation has a small chapel and on the front wall, there are notches where you can sit candles. As you come in, the only light comes from the two candles on the altar. The service would start off with singing of some Christmas hymns and a few words. Then, the service would be turned over to the group gathered. If you wanted to, you could go up front and light a candle and say a few words. Or you could just light a candle. It was really special to watch as the room was slowly filled with light and to hear the words each person said.
The service is one that I have very fond memories of. My first Candelight Service, I remember Barry getting up and talking about how there were two sets of lights slowly coming together and then he proposed to Laura. (Officially..that is...we all knew they were gonna get married. Some of us got confirmation earlier than others--remember that ride back from East Town mall Barry and Laura?) In my later years, I was in head of the worship work area at the Wesley Foundation and worked on helping to make sure the Candelight Service became a reality. Boy, it was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it. I also remember after graduating from UTK, going to candelight with Julia.
But it wasn't just the service--it was a whole evening. My first and last year at the Wesley Foundation, we presented the Who feast--which was the feast the Who's ate in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, accompanied by a dramatic presentation of the story. Other years we had a large Christmas meal. After the service, we had cookies and fellowship downstairs in the social hall and would decorate the tree and the rest of the building for the season.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/07/2004 10:04:00 AM