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Order of Worship for the Evening, An 

At the opening of An Order of Worship for the Evening, the ministers enter a darkened church. The ministers may be preceded by one or two lighted candles. During Easter season, the Paschal candle is burning as the service begins. The officiant approaches the lighted Paschal candle and begins the service by its light. A short lesson of scripture may follow the opening acclamation. This lesson is optional. The officiant then says the Prayer for Light, using one of the forms in the rite or another suitable prayer. After the Prayer for Light, the altar candles are lighted, along with other candles and lamps. In Easter season, the candles are lighted from the Paschal candle. An appropriate anthem or psalm may be sung during the candle-lighting, or silence may be kept. The BOS provides a variety of anthems (lucernaria) for optional use at the candle-lighting. After the candle-lighting, there follows the singing of the Phos hilaron, or a metrical version of it, or another hymn. Incense may be used after the candle-lighting and while the Phos hilaron is sung (BCP, p. 143). The service may then continue with Evening Prayer, or the Holy Eucharist, or another office or devotion. The BCP directs that the Service of Light of this liturgy is to begin a Vigil of Pentecost (p. 227). In the BOS, this Service of Light is also used to begin a Vigil for Christmas Eve, a Service for New Year's Eve, a Vigil for the Eve of the Baptism of Our Lord, a Vigil for the Eve of All Saints' Day or the Sunday after All Saints' Day, a Service for All Hallows' Eve, and a Vigil on the Eve of Baptism. The Service of Light may also be used to introduce Advent and Christmas Festivals of Lessons and Music if these festivals take place in the evening. The service may be followed by a meal or other activity, with the Phos hilaron followed by the Lord's Prayer and a grace or blessing. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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