Advent candles shine brightly in the midst of darkness, symbolizing and reminding us that Jesus came as Light into our dark world.
The most common Advent candle tradition, involves four candles around the wreath. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
The first candle symbolizes hope and is called the "Prophet’s Candle." The prophets of the Old Testament, especially Isaiah, waited in hope for the Messiah’s arrival.
The second candle represents faith and is called "Bethlehem’s Candle." Micah had foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which is also the birthplace of King David.
The third candle symbolizes joy and is called the "Shepherd’s Candle." To the shepherd’s great joy, the angels announced that Jesus came for humble, unimportant people like them, too. In liturgy, the color rose signifies joy.
The fourth candle represents peace and is called the "Angel’s Candle." The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace--He came to bring people close to God and to each other again
The (optional) fifth candle represents light and purity and is called "Christ’s candle." It is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day
The Holiday Season is not necessarily happy for everyone. Fear, anxiety, grief, pain, and loss of any kind can lend itself to sadness, disappointment and, at times, deep despair. A Blue Christmas service is designed to hold space for those who are hurting, so they need not suffer in silence or alone.
There’s no denying it. This time of the year can be painful. Perhaps it is the first time you are celebrating the holiday without your loved one who recently died or are experiencing the heartache of a broken relationship. Maybe you have lost a job, moved from a familiar community, received bad news regarding your health, or will be separated from someone special, including a beloved pet. Maybe this time of the year brings back bad memories of your past or finds you feeling lost, directionless and wondering what the future holds. This year, in particular, we are all grieving the effects of a global pandemic and the many deaths associated with the Coronavirus.
Traditionally, Blue Christmas services are offered on or near the longest night of the year, sometime around December 21. This coincides with the Advent season during which the Christian community prepares for the coming of Christ. Together they proclaim the message that “Jesus Christ is the Light of the world; the Light no darkness can overcome.” They serve as a word of comfort, hope and even joy for all, especially those who find themselves living in a land of deep darkness.
This is a quiet service, contemplative in nature. It includes silence; prayers; scripture, meditation and song; and candle lighting that brighten lives with the healing glow of comfort, courage and hope.
Together with St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church located at 11295 SW 57 Ave in Pinecrest, FL will offer such a service, extending an invitation to the community to join them at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 13th. No offering will be received, except the offering of your own heart-felt desires for healing and wholeness. We will honor social distancing guidelines and masks are required. During this holy and blessed season, we pray Christ will scatter your darkness and bring light to your world.
ADVENT MID-WEEK TAIZE PRAYER SERVICE
St. Thomas Lutheran Church
As we await the arrival of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, come join us on Wednesday Evenings at 7:00 p.m for an Advent Mid-week Taize Prayer Service, December 2nd, December 9th, and December 16th.
St. Thomas Lutheran Church
Christmas Eve Service
December 24, 2020