A Guide: The Serene Beauty of Candlelight Services
A candlelight service has a special beauty of its own. Seen from outside, church windows warmed by candlelight create a welcoming invitation. Inside, the candle glow symbolizes the ancient promise of light out of the darkness. Whatever your faith, candlelight services are special, inspiring devotion, serenity and joy.
Many people these days feel alone, especially around Christmas. Candlelight services are a perfect time to invite friends to join you at church for the evening. The festive season, the familiar carols and the fellowship lifts their spirits and includes them in something special.
Of course, sanctuary and altar candles are regularly used in daylight services, but candlelight services are usually augmented by special candles, which add to the experience.
The lighting of hand-held candles from person to person forms a bond between worshippers, as the sanctuary goes from near-darkness into increasingly bright light. Beeswax tapers with paper or plastic drip catchers are especially good for this. Also, beeswax tends not to drip as much as other candles.
There are many reasons for vigils, the greatest of them being the Easter Vigil, which lasts several hours. The word "vigil" comes from the Latin "vigilis," meaning a night period of wakefulness and prayer. Vigils are shared in silence; the quiet and the candle's light producing a thoughtful, renewing peace. Vigil candles are usually votives in glass cups if used indoors. For outdoor vigils, tapers fitted with plastic drip cups are also used. Pillar candles in glass are perfect for either.
Candles for Caroling
Keep a timeless tradition alive! The joyous sound of carols always unites the congregation, and are especially moving during a candlelight service. Your church can even reach out into the community by a concert of carols in hospitals, senior centers, schools or nursing homes, especially when the singers carry candles. Battery-powered LED candles are perfect for singers on the move.
You can always tell when a church is burning beeswax candles the minute you walk in the door. The sweet honey scent of these candles is produced naturally from real honeycomb wax. They burn longer and brighter, with almost no dripping. Use them for altar or sanctuary candles, and in the nave for a welcoming aroma.
A Special Tip
Enhance the beauty and warmth of the occasion. Consider adding candles to line the steps or walkways to your church for candlelight services.