This Christmas meditation using candles, music and readings is based on the traditional tenebrae service, usually held during Holy Week at Easter.

It is designed to be used during a church service or in a small group setting.

Tenebrae is Latin for "shadows" or "darkness". This service involves a gradual extinguishing of candles to signify the darkness in our world. The candles are then gradually re-lit to symbolise Christ’s birth as the light of the world.

The congregation/group is invited to listen to a series of readings and music tracks, following prompts for silent reflection as the service progresses. At the end they are invited to come and light candles as a sign of their commitment to be light in the world.

The emphasis is on creating space for meditation and once the order of service has been explained talking should be kept to a minimum (you may choose to indicate each stage of the service via power point or give out a printed order of service as people arrive).

Ideally any lights in the venue should be turned off so once the final candle is extinguished it is in total darkness.

The music tracks are suggestions and you may want to replace them with worship songs/carols or other tracks you think would work well.