I first learned of Nightfever just a few months ago from my good friend, Fr. Anthony Azuwike, a young priest from Nigeria, currently stationed at the church I attend in New York. Fr. Anthony participated in Night Fever in England while a law student there. I was intrigued by this simple, beautiful gesture of inviting people of all faiths and backgrounds to share the common experience of lighting a candle and spending a little peaceful time with God. The idea of Nightfever propelled me to start the VCPC "Light a Candle" virtual chapel as a way for our members, from different faiths, countries and time zones, to come together in a common prayer experience.
The other day, I walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and saw a flyer like the one you see above. Remembering that "Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous," I had no doubt that I was meant to be at St. Pat's and find that flyer so that I could participate in my first Nightfever.
If you are in the New York area, please join me for Nightfever at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Friday, November 21st between 7PM and 9PM; but wherever you are, please light a candle in our Vaccine Choice Prayer Community "virtual" chapel or light a candle in your home during that time. We may be separated by geography and time zones, but we can all come together in this simple beautiful gesture of lighting a candle and offering an intention for the members and the mission of the Vaccine Choice Prayer Community.
With the never-ending stories of vaccine injury, death and vaccine industry corruption, I am sometimes overwhelmed by just how big the vaccine issue is. However, I know that nothing is impossible with God; and that as a community we must continue to pray for change.
Watch the video and keep reading to learn more about Nightfever.
Over the past few years, Nightfever has spread at an incredible pace, becoming a regularly organized event in many cities around the world. It was founded in Cologne, Germany after World Youth Day 2006. The idea is to keep the “fever” of faith going strong.
How it Works
You receive a candle at the entrance of the church that you can light at the steps leading to the altar. This candle symbolizes your intention. Even when you leave the church, your candle continues to burn for you before our Lord. Jesus Christ himself is the actual Host of the evening who invites everyone to come, seek rest, and be renewed in Him. You are invited to enjoy the peace and quiet in the candle lit church and to pour out your heart before God. Music plays throughout the evening to create a tranquil atmosphere that can help you contemplate in prayer and find your inner peace.
During Nightfever, volunteers go out to the streets in the city and invite people to come to church. Everyone is welcome to get a taste of what it is like to be in the church, even if it is just for a few minutes. Those who accept the invitation are free to enjoy Nightfever in whatever way they choose. Come and go as your time allows. Some may want to go to confession; while others may prefer to sit before our Lord and talk directly to Him. It is God Himself, truly present in the Eucharist, whom they are encountering at Nightfever, and it is for his glory and the coming of His kingdom that Nightfever is successful.
Nightfever NYC Stories . . .
"Close to 2500 other souls discovered their own direct line to heaven that evening and at the second Nightfever NYC held in March 2014 as the great bronze doors of the Cathedral were opened wide to the throngs of people on 5th Avenue. Volunteers waited expectantly at candle lighting stations inside, having all just prayed shortly before that even just one soul would find their way back into the loving embrace of Jesus that night. As if the gates of heaven themselves had been opened, streams of people trickled into the Cathedral holding candles given to them by Nightfever missionaries. “They just keep coming. We need more matchsticks!” was the common refrain spoken by volunteers lighting candles in front of the altar."
“We’re talking to heaven, right?” These words were spoken to one of the Nightfever volunteers by a young Chinese man who was trying to grasp the enormity of what was taking place inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral during the inaugural Nightfever NYC in 2013. He wasn’t Catholic and spoke little English, yet he perfectly articulated the profound simplicity of the evening in just a few words.
"Hi - I just wanted to take a moment to write and tell you I attended the Nightfever at St. Patricks earlier tonight. I was there for the entire evening and was incredibly moved by the experience. After lighting a candle and placing it at the alter, I found an unoccupied pew off to one side, closed my eyes and just absorbed the music and messages. I was moved to tears on several occasions and I can't verbalize why. It was a deeply personal and yet communal experience. So thank you very much for putting this beautiful night of worship together. It is my sincere hope you do this again in NYC. I will definitely attend. God bless..."
"I was surprised by the event that night. I think the lighting, the music and the loose structure of the evening made it easier to connect with God. I don't even think it would have mattered if I was a different religion. I think religion can intimidate people but this night, it wasn't about religion. So many people were praying and waiting to talk to a priest (who were stationed everywhere to talk to anyone who wanted) that it felt safe to be open to the experience. Many people were so moved by the experience that they were openly crying including me. The love was palpable and it felt like even this huge cathedral was barely able to contain it. I can't help but think that people are craving this type of experience. I really believe this type of service should be a regular event. It would bring many people into the church. I'd volunteer to help it happen. I hope I get to experience it again."
Conversation with a shy chain-smoking mentally ill man by the cathedral steps”:
An extremely shy, almost terrified man was smoking cigarette after cigarette right by the front steps of St. Patrick’s. He was clearly scared to come in, but kept looking at the entrance like he wanted to come in. At first I continued to greet the stream of scores of people coming in the front doors of the cathedral, since I realized that all the greeters were engaged in conversations and no one was welcoming anybody at that time; but I had a strong interior sense that I should go over and reach out to this man.
I came over and introduced myself to him, shaking his hand. He immediately relaxed a bit and did not seem afraid of me. After conversing for a bit, I realized he seemed to suffer from some sort of mental illness or impairment which prevented him from thinking or conversing normally. His body language showed that he was very at ease with me, but he had great trouble talking or expressing himself. I talked with him for awhile and prayed with him, which he was grateful for (he even managed to smile!). I thought “that was going to be it”, and expected him to leave after that. But to my utter shock and surprise, he eventually mustered up the courage to go inside!! He later came out and clearly looked like he had had a very powerful experience with Our Lord… Praise God Who conquers all fear and blesses everyone who draws near to Him!
Click here for more beautiful Nightfever testimonies. Click here to visit the Nightfever, NYC Facebook page.