Candles are an important part of worship in different religious and spiritual traditions. They are often used in Christianity because of the precept that Jesus is the light of the world. If you are a religious leader in the Christian faith, consider using some interactive concepts during mass and in religious groups to engage the church community in praise and reflection.
Advent Candle Walking Liturgy
Set up four candles in each corner of the church. Make four cards that say hope, love, peace and joy, and place one of the cards by each of the candles. Invite the parishioners or members to walk around the church and take a few moments to reflect by each candle. You might provide baskets where people could place slips of paper with prayers written on them related to each topic. At a fifth station, write the Light of the World, and light this candle on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Candles and Music
Light a candle at the front of the church or during a meeting of one of the religious groups in the community. Play the music to a hymn and distribute lyrics to everyone in attendance. Ask everyone to sing along to the music in a state of deep praise and worship. After the singing has finished, play gentle music in the background and allow everyone to have a few minutes in quiet prayer and reflection.
During Lent, light a different candle each week to represent the various stages of the season. However, instead of lighting the candle, the priest or minister will extinguish the candle. The group will say a prayer together that calls to mind the evil and suffering in the world, and ask for guidance to overcome it. On Easter Sunday, the candle will be lit as a reminder of the doctrine that Jesus came to save people from their sins and conquer evil and death.
Hold a candlelight vigil to meditate on bringing good into the world. Pick one idea such as peace, unity, faith, hope or charity. You could also hold such a vigil in memory of a lost loved one or a tragedy that claimed the lives of one or many. Have everyone gather and hold one candle each. The group should pray for the guidance of God to help them achieve this goal or for the soul of the person(s) who have passed.
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