Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel
Saturday, December 07, 2019
Since 1951
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Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Chapel

Join us at 5:00 p.m. for a moving candlelight service. We will exit the Chapel in silence at the conclusion of the service.

For more than 15 years, Emma Anderson has shared in a portion of the Moravian Church’s Lovefeast tradition. While we do not serve its cardamom-spiced buns nor sweetened coffee, we do celebrate Jesus Christ with its lighted candles.

This tradition originated in 1747 on the European continent at Marienborn, Germany. Until the end of the 19th century, only children received candles. At the conclusion of the service, after the pastor had told the Christmas Story, each child in the Moravian Church was given a hand-dipped beeswax candle trimmed with a red ribbon with the intent that they would go throughout the community singing Christmas carols and sharing in the moving story that they had been told. So stirring was the service that the tradition spread throughout the Moravian world.

This tradition was continued in North Carolina when, in 1762, the candles were used for the first time in the Christmas Lovefeast of Bethabara and Bethania (near Winston-Salem). Every person at the service was given a lighted candle as a reminder that Christ said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Christ then told his disciples to “let your light so shine before people that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Giving candles to the whole congregation has become an accepted and beautiful part of this Christmas Eve vigil. Now grownups share in the childlike joy of the Savior’s birth so they, too, become children again.

The hand-dipped beeswax candles used at Emma Anderson’s Christmas Eve service are made by the Mary Ann Fogle Service League in Winston-Salem.

The candles will be trimmed with the red bows on December 4. If you'd like to join in that activity, please contact Janie at 910-620-8720.

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