I’m posting this a bit early in anticipation of Christmas Day. Now there are a few different ways to celebrate Christmas with your Advent wreath, depending on the way it’s designed. Some only have four candles, in which case you can either light all the candles again, just as you did last week; or you can replace them with all white candles, to represent the Divine Light. Other wreaths have a place for a central candle, which should be white – with these, you can light all the candles in order, lighting the central candle last. If your Advent wreath has only four candle holders, you can also place a white pillar candle in the center (This is what I do, although I prefer a gold candle myself). However you choose to perform this ritual, it’s perfect to celebrate at Christmas dinner, or any other time on Christmas Day that is convenient for you.
Note also that instead of O Come Emmanuel (a traditional Advent song), today we sing Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful). Have a blessed and holy Christmas, everyone; and may the Divine Light shine within you always!
Nativity of the Divine Light
Intent: The Incarnation of the Redeemer
Pray: In the name of the + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
℣. O Emmanuel, Christ, desire of all people, come and dwell within our hearts. Fill us with Thy Light.
Let us pray. God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth hath given way to the bright dawn of Thy Light made flesh. Make us a people of this Light. Make us faithful to Thy Logos, that we may bring Thy life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Indwelling Lord. Amen.
If a 5-candle wreath is used, the four outer candles are lit in order, followed by the central Christ candle. If a 4-candle wreath is used, the same candles may be lit, or they may be replaced with white candles, to represent the Divine Light. The candles are lit in order, and Adeste Fideles may be sung, followed by a time of personal meditation on the Incarnation of the Redeemer.
A reading from the Holy Prophet Mani: Jesus, Thy burden is light for him who can carry it. Many are the marvels of Thy nativity, O Jesus; yet when we say, “Thy nativity,” who could have created Thee, O Lord Jesus? Thou who art eternally life from life! The Son of God cast into a humble womb; He who is the All, in whom the All exists. He came down to the flesh, He put on the vesture of humanity. God became man; He went about in the land, He took a man’s likeness, the raiment of a slave. He came for all the sheep of his flock, because He knew there was no other to rescue them. He had come without a body, yet His apostles declared of Him that He took the form of a boy, an appearance like that of us, men; He came down, and manifested in the world among the people of the Jews.
A reading from the Gospel of Philip: Whoever receiveth the Light will be invisible, and cannot be restrained. And nothing can harass such a man, even while living in the world. And, furthermore, when that man leaveth this world, he hath already received the truth in the form of images, and the world hath already become the eternal realm. For, to this man the eternal realm is Fullness and, as such, is manifest to him alone – hidden not in darkness and night, but hidden in perfect day, and holy light.
Alleluia, alleluia. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Alleluia.
(For a choral version of O Come All Ye Faithful with lyrics, if you’re not familiar with the song, take a look at this YouTube video.)