Every year, our church has a late-night service on Christmas Eve. Things get rolling around 11pm, and wind up around 11:45, at which point, we all head outside, and stand in the dark parking lot, singing Christmas Carols until midnight.
This year, Kelly was going to play some music with me before the service began. So we practiced a bit at home, and Ken even got in on the show...
The church was so pretty, all dark, and just lit by candles, and the trees...
I didn't take as many photos this year because I was in the band. A little too distracting to take a camera up on stage. But I did sneak a shot when the music was done, as I was leaving the stage.
The service ended a little after 1145, and we all quietly went out into the dark parking lot with our candles.
One of our pastors had taken the center candle from the advent wreath, and he used it to start lighting the candles around the circle.
There's something just magical about a quiet candle-lit night.
Ken and Kelly were across the circle from the boys and me.
It was a little bit windy. Nate had to be vigilant to keep his candle burning.
Shhh. I snuck a photo while they were praying. Skip is in the 'don't take photos of me' phase, so sometimes I just have to take the chances that are offered to me.
And then it was midnight, and we sang Silent Night, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and it was Christmas Morning. And the quiet hush broke, and gave way to the excited conversations of friends and kids who can hardly wait for morning to arrive.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come.
(and why am I writing this now? Because my kids are STILL SLEEPING! and it's nearly 9am on Christmas morning. Talk about your Christmas Miracles)