I realize that this is little late, but I really wanted to share a bit of our Christmas Eve candlelight service. Our church held the service in an old Lancaster County warehouse. My friend, Sue, and I did the decorating for the service. We kept it pretty rustic and simple to fit the space. It was snowing outside, just adding to the beauty of the evening. Candlelit luminaries lit the way to the entrance of the building. Once inside, you were greeted by our pastor and his son playing traditional Christmas carols on trombone and trumpet.
The little tree is from my front porch and I made the chalkboard using an old wardrobe door that I've had in my garage since summer. It was transformed with chalkboard paint in the center and Anne Sloan Old White on the frame.
Star luminaries continued inside and lit the way to the staircase leading to the upstairs space where the service was held.
The main space was really dark and hard to get a good shot, so I'll try to give you a mental image of the space. Picture rustic original wood floors, exposed brick walls with beautiful arched windows, exposed wood beams, and wrought iron chandeliers. When you reached the top of the stairs, the main window in the front of the room featured this beautiful lit star (purchased at Ikea). It was a stunning focal point in the darkened room.
We had a table set up at the top of the stairs with a simple burlap tablecloth, covered with traditional red poinsettias and a glass bowl filled with water, cranberries, and floating white star candles. There were also baskets holding the individual candles for people to pick up for the candlelight service.
The arched windows lined all four brick walls and each window held an iron candlelit lantern surrounded by fresh greens.
The chairs were set in the round with one single candle on a tall pedestal stand in the center - representing, Jesus, the Light of the World. My favorite part of the service is when all the lights in the room are extinguished and the room is completely dark, except for that single candle. Then the pastor takes his small candle and lights it, then shares his lit candle with another person to light their candle. One by one, the light spreads as everyone's candles are lit; representing the church spreading the message of Christ to a dark world. It was beautiful!
Once everyone's candles were lit, we stood and sang "Joy to the World" and during the last verse, everyone raised their candles high! Because I was helping, I was standing in the back of the room wishing at that moment that my camera was nearby, because it was a stunning sight to behold. But, I knew I didn't want to interrupt the moment to go get my camera. I hope I've painted a picture for you of this simple Christmas Eve service in the country. Next year, I'll be prepared with my camera in my hand!
It's snowing here again today and I hope to get some pictures in town to share with you tomorrow! Have a wonderful Saturday!