Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. It is a time of warmth and sharing. It is punctuated with rich colors, inviting smells, and some of my fondest memories. One such memory is not of a singular event but one that I look forward to every year – the end of the eleven o’clock p.m. Christmas Eve service.
This time of year can be so full of hustle and bustle it can be hard to find a time for reflection. Attending the eleven o’clock p.m. Christmas Eve service helps me do just that. Because of the late hour, the church seems quieter, warmer, and more intimate, no matter the size of the congregation. The service ends with a dimming of the sanctuary lights and a passing of the light of peace while the congregation sings Silent Night. Those few minutes as the darkness surrounds me and the warm glow of the small candles expands throughout the sanctuary helps me center my mind and soul. As the service ends, the congregation disperses quietly into the clear, crisp Christmas morning.
I look forward to the Christmas season all year long. I enjoy all aspects of the holiday season, but I especially look forward to a few minutes late Christmas Eve when the warm glow of candle light and soft singing voices helps me reflect on what has transpired and what is yet to come.