Recently on dotMagis, I reflected on one of my favorite memories of Christmas– the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. Now that we live away from the majority of our family, I find myself yearning to pass on the legacy of faith that my family passed to me as a young child….
A cherished memory from my childhood is the annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at my grandparents’ Methodist church. Every year my large family of many Christian denominations gathered here first before our family Christmas party. It was one of the rare occasions during the year we would all be at church together. We would fill multiple rows and all the cousins would scramble to sit next to each other during the service. We came dressed in our Christmas best, eyes glowing in full anticipation of the joy-filled evening ahead. As a young child, the service droned on forever, only slowing us down from the moment we could enjoy my aunt’s sugar cookies and the exchange of presents.
During my high school years, though, the ritual of gathering at the candlelight service took on a different meaning. The ritual of beginning our family Christmas celebration with the candlelight service year after year spoke profoundly to me about the importance and value of faith. The witness of what my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles held as the priority on Christmas Eve influenced me through college and into my adult years.
To read the rest, head on over to dotMagis to read my post, “Emmanuel, God With Us“!