Holidays are always hectic and filled with competing priorities and mounting exhaustion. As an introvert at this time of year, I feel like hunkering down and holing with warm blankets and soft puppies until the crocuses crown.
I’m tired of fighting the crowds for basic necessities, let alone extra holiday glitz. So, why would I ask anyone to add one more date to their overbooked schedule—especially when it lands on the penultimate day of the chaos calendar: Christmas Eve.
Why? Because I’ve experienced the magic for 50 years.
All Souls Christmas Eve Candle Light services are just that … magic!
I don’t remember the earlier ones, but I know from others that I was there in the sanctuary of All Souls. Sitting with my parents early on, with choirs throughout my youth, with friends, leading choirs, and now with my own family, experiencing the wonder of it over and over again.
A Tradition Start to Finish
Each candle light service is 45 minutes, start to finish.
The magic happens at 4:30, 6:00 and 7:30 pm. The only real differences between each of the services are the level of lighting and the choirs the perform, youngest first.
Create magic within and around you
At any service you choose, you will sing beautiful traditional Christmas hymns with a huge chorus of voices and a splendid pipe organ for the final time this season. These songs are sung with people who know how to sing and who will add beautiful harmonies. So, don’t worry about your singing voice, just the act of participation creates a magic within and around you.
Singing hymns with a large group like this is a spiritual practice unto itself. Revel in it, whether you’re a practiced musician or this is the only time you sing outside the shower all year.
A Service for the Entire Family
The kids may get fussy and not want to sit through the whole thing. It’s okay.
You can let them set on the floor. Have them look through the hymnal. Let them draw on the offering envelopes. Have them count the candles in the room. Ask them to breath with you as you listen to the story. Show them where you are in the order of service. Warm the candle you’ve been given and bend it into different shapes (my personal favorite).
In this brief time together, you and your family will hear the traditional Christmas story of the birth of a baby. Then we will light our candles and fill our sanctuary with a warm glow and a sweet song and leave All Souls a little calmer, a little happier, a little more centered, and with a little more clarity about the meaning of this season.
I hope I will see you on Christmas Eve.
I’ll be there for all three services with my family.
Wassail and cookie reception in Emerson Hall between the services. People are encouraged to bring cookies to share. Childcare is available for pre-K and younger at the 4:30 and 6:00 pm services.
Tuesday, December 24 | 4:30, 6:00 and 7:30 p.m.
All Souls Annual Candlelight services are held every Christmas Eve for our members, families, and community. Our Candlelight services are for everyone, for all faiths and non-faiths, to celebrate together—united as one. Enjoy incredible choir performances at these intergenerational services in which we will transform the All Souls Sanctuary with the soft glow of candlelight. Families are encouraged to bring cookies to share at the Wassail and Cookie receptions following the 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. services.
We hold three candlelight services to reflect, pray together, and to celebrate our one, human family.
Cherub Choir and YAVE | 4:30 p.m.
Children’s Choir and Adult Choir | 6:00 p.m.
Youth Choir and Alumni | 7:30 p.m.