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Advent candles

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:25 am
by Chris
How does your church choose the families that will light the advent candles? In the past 50 years, I have been a member of 4 different Baptist churches. I have never been asked to light a candle during Advent. Currently, my wife does not attend the church I attend, which may be why I am not considered. Even when we did attend the same church, we were never asked. I have a feeling that the families that put the most money in the plates are the ones that are so honored. Let me know if your church has another way of picking the candle lighters. If the Youth Minister is preaching on a particular December Sunday, does a "youth" light the candle? {I dont have a problem with that, I just thought I'd mention it}.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:35 pm
by Haruo
I have no input on the subject, but I reposted the question on Evergreen's FB group and will copy any responses here. (A) BL.com is not a secure site and (B) the Evergreen group is a closed group, so for two reasons direct linking is impossible.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:50 am
by Rvaughn
I can't give any input, since I've never been in any church that had advent candles. It is dismal that this might be tied to repaying big givers!

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:18 am
by Tim Bonney
Chris wrote:How does your church choose the families that will light the advent candles? In the past 50 years, I have been a member of 4 different Baptist churches. I have never been asked to light a candle during Advent. Currently, my wife does not attend the church I attend, which may be why I am not considered. Even when we did attend the same church, we were never asked. I have a feeling that the families that put the most money in the plates are the ones that are so honored. Let me know if your church has another way of picking the candle lighters. If the Youth Minister is preaching on a particular December Sunday, does a "youth" light the candle? {I dont have a problem with that, I just thought I'd mention it}.


Our Worship Committee finds people. They try to mix it up so that people of different ages and family situations get a turn. With only four Sundays in Advent it limits choices too.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:33 am
by Jon Estes
I have always chosen a variety of people/persons...

- A family to do it together
- A single parent
- A senior adult (single or married)
- A military person or family

I try to choose people who are active and faithful. I have never considered the money thing because I don't know who does and who doesn't.

We don't do it here because many cultures have no idea what it is and I don't see it as a necessary to start.

TIC alert - I'm concerned someone will get mad at me for not asking them.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:51 am
by JE Pettibone
Ed: I have been in several Churches that utilize Advent Candles and have observed no pattern in the choosing who does the lighting. I believe that the pastor or other staff person responsible for worship planing makes the choices. When my youngest son was about ten years old he and I where selected to light one of the candles. At the time I was a leader in the adult singles ministry, and my son who lived with his mother, generally attended church with me.
I assume we where selected to validate the churches acceptance of single adults and their children. All elements of each worship service in that church where well reasoned. BTW, at that point in time I am quite sure I was not among those with the most money.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:52 am
by Haruo
Chris, here are the comments your question generated on Evergreen's (closed) FB group. (Closed in the sense that only members can see the posts.)

Robin Knauerhase wrote:I'm a couple of churches I've been in, the temptation is to have "perfect" families (handsome dad, beautiful mom, one boy & one girl decked out in Sunday finest). To counter that, we've focused on single people, Grandma+grandkids, etc. Indeed, if you're particularly celebratory of all God's children, have a same-sex couple or that cute committed but unmarried couple, etc.
[...]
One year, we had a homeless (but member & regular attender) guy do it. Only a few objected to that, which IMHO was useful to learn all by itself.
In response to which I wrote:Did they offer grounds for their objections?

Not specifically, just (not quoting either) the general "do we want to show that" and "why didn't he dress up and take a shower". Even in Portland, there is a set of people who don't even want to see homelessness.

Mona Eby Chicks wrote:I've been in churches my whole life and have never had any member of my family asked to do Advent candles. As a child it was probably because we were the pastor's family. As an adult I've had my son "forgotten"/left out even when all the other kids were given something to do. And we were some of the bigger givers in that church.
[...]
Current church tries to mix ethnicities and genders between the weeks. But there are only four weeks of advent each year.

Robin Knauerhase wrote:Selecting big donors without any other reason feels particularly anti-Baptist-equality to me, and a poor example of Christmas to boot.

M Christopher Boyer wrote:Pretty much my whim of the week.

Judy Gay wrote: I have no idea who gives what so that is not a criteria. I used to select the youth but they are now adults. Today I selected Kathy to bring some light to the darkness of her season this year. Who will I select next week - don't know yet.

Sarah Ruth Welton wrote: When we have had children or youth In our services we ask them if they want to participate. Right now we only have older folks in attendance.

Paul Schneider wrote: This is actually something I’ve been thinking about. These responses help me.

Jean Heidal wrote: As a lay person, I asked if I could choose the readings and recruit the Advent Candle lighters. Today a mother and daughter lit the candles. Next week a brother and sister who are young adults. I have asked another brother and sister (college students) to light on Christmas Eve Morning and also, two older couples will light candles. I try to mix-it-up and ask people who might not normally be asked to participate. FBC, Olympia

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:51 pm
by Chris
Thank you,Haruo, for sharing all of these answers.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:49 pm
by Sandy
I've seen it done different ways. When we belonged to a CBF congregation, they had families do it each week, and they had each family who wanted to do it put their name in a box, and each wee they drew a different one. At another church, which called its small groups and classes "Biblical communities," there was a rotation and each community selected someone to light the candles. At the school, during chapel, a student from each grade, 9-12 is selected at random each week. They're already lit when the elementary kids come in.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:53 pm
by Chris
I think random is appropriate.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:27 pm
by Tim Bonney
Chris wrote:I think random is appropriate.


Agreed. But honestly a lot of people don’t want to do it too. So there is the flip side.

Re: Advent candles

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:25 am
by Dave Roberts
Where I have been involved, we seek out folks who didn't do it last year, those with a variety of situations, and a variety of ages. This year, we are using two families and two coed adult Sunday School classes that have a number of people in them who are not attached to others in a family grouping.