All Is Calm, All Is Bright

Visuals for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

The theme for these Advent/Christmas/Epiphany visuals is “All Is Calm, All Is Bright.” It was inspired by the two hundredth anniversary (in 2018) of the composition of the well-loved Christmas carol “Silent Night! Holy Night” Mohr, LUYH 85, GtG 122, PsH 344. The visual elements incorporated into the sanctuary during the season carried great meaning and significance. The series began with the silhouette of a backlit manger, then progressed to Christmas Eve, when stars were projected on the front wall. The highlight of the Christmas Eve service was the last song, “Silent Night! Holy Night,” sung by candlelight. All the sanctuary lights were turned off, and a projected star illuminated the ceiling. The congregation then left in silence. On Christmas morning, the theme of light expanded to “The Light of the World Has Come.” The blue background was replaced by gold, and the manger silhouette now held the infant Jesus. Finally, during Epiphany the Magi were shown following the ever-present star.

“All Is Calm, All Is Bright”

The silhouette of a hay-filled manger symbolizes the anticipation that is the hallmark of the Advent season. In this time of waiting and watching, the manger is still a simple and cold stone trough for animals to eat from. The partially concealed cross behind the manger reminds us there is so much more to come. The color blue reminds us of the coldness and chill of the world over two thousand years ago that is still present in and around us today. Yet the blue also has a hint of royalty within it, again reminding us of things that are already and not yet. The stars are an ever-present reminder that even in the blue chill of the world there is a promise of something more, something bright on the horizon.

“The Light of the World Has Come”

The manger now contains the Christ-child and is surrounded by a warm glow of light symbolizing that Jesus is the light of the world.

“The Search for Jesus”

We recognize the season of Epiphany, which continues until Lent begins. The silhouetted Magi are on a journey, following a star in search of Jesus, the Christ. The Magi are backlit by a golden light representing hope and holiness. Christ, the light of the world has come!

Debra Komodore is part of a volunteer worship planning team at Hope Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado.

Reformed Worship 133 © September 2019, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.