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Light and Darkness

by Gill Hartley

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To celebrate the joy of light after darkness.

Preparation and materials

  • A candle and some matches.
  • A copy of Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell, published by Walker Books. The big book format would be best.
  • Note: This assembly originally appeared in October 1999.


  1. Introduce the use of the candle to the children. If it is not a regular feature of school assemblies explain that all sorts of people who believe in God light a candle when they are going to pray to show they are doing something special.
  2. Draw any curtains and switch off any artificial lights. Light the candle and ask the children as they look at it to think about how they feel.
  3. After a few moments ask the children to share how they feel (if they wish to). Does the candle make them feel good or bad? Is light a good or bad thing? (The responses are invariably positive!).

  4. Blow out the candle and switch on the lights/draw back the curtains.

    Ask, is anyone afraid of the dark? They don't have to own up if they don’t want to, but assure them that many people are and it is acceptable to be so.

  5. Read Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? and show the pictures.

  6. Ask the children what it was that made Little Bear feel better. Emphasize that it was the light; he went through a whole series of lights, each one bigger than the last, until he found one big enough to comfort him.

  7. Sing the song, ‘From the darkness came light’.

Time for reflection

If appropriate, point out to the children that the song they have just sung refers to Jesus as Light. Read the words of Jesus in John 8.12: ‘I am the light of the world,’ he said. ‘Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.’


‘From the darkness came light’ (Come and Praise, 29)

Publication date: November 2004   (Vol.6 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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