or what is also known as Christmas Eve service. yes, we do light candles at the end of the service. a narration of the story of the birth of Jesus is read and as each character appears, a candle is lit as a symbol of the character. e.g. 'an angel appeared to the shepherds...' and a candle is lit.
i don't know why, but every candlelight service every year, it will be a jam packed church overflowing to the outside. besides the fact that its people from 3 services joining into 1, it was also a time where people we didn't see for a long time, appear back in church. which is great.
usually there will be around 7 scripture readers reading the passages. but this time, my music director decided to do a choral candlelight service; meaning a whole choir will be leading the church in worship. knowing that it'll be jam-packed, she had the vision of having a magnificent and meaningful time of worship to reach to the congregation. the hope in her heart was that as they leave church, they are not just going to say 'what wonderful music' or 'beautiful decorations', but they'll be touched and impacted by being in the presence or state of worshipping God.
i have to admit i did not know what i was getting myself into; especially to what extent and standard is required of this choral service. i assure you its high enough. and throughout the many practises, i was starting to have regrets. and that's not including the many frustrations. there were 3 keyboards, 1 bassist, 1 drummer, 1 percussionist. i was playing 'strings' on keyboard. beautiful (and critical) as it may be, it was nearly literally hanging me from the neck.
before the service it was hectic with the many preparations and sound testing needed. at 7.30pm, the music team sat down at the vestry and prayed. for the congregation, for our hands, for our hearts, for our minds, for the choir, for their hearts and voices, for the message, for the sound crew. what seemed a long time in prayer was just a mere 15 minutes. by then, the church was already jam-packed 15 minutes before the service started.
i didn't have time to look at the congregation cause all focus is on my music director who's one of the musicians as well. song after song, it went as well as it could besides a few glitches. the choir sang beautifully. magnificent, it was. ministered, it did. i couldn't even belive my strings went well. my friend was in charge of lighting the candles as the passages are read. she was dressed white with a shawl for the service and she really looked like an angel.
i was further overjoyed that my uni friends could come. chok, yvonne and cathy(her small group friend from FGA). i was glad they were ministered to and it was an eye opener to such a service.