University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension
4-H Ceremonies

Candle Lighting Ceremony 2


This ceremony had been adapted from a number of Candlelighting Ceremonies presented at several National 4-H Conferences. It has been adapted for use by your club. It would be appropriate to use this ceremony after your club has studied about Washington, D.C. This may be a part of encouraging your members to attend Citizenship Washington Focus.

Everyone sings "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Your eyes have seen the glory! This week you have studied government in its home. You have been a guest in this home, you have walked through it, looked at its treasures, heard the story of its building, watched the members of the family at their story of its building, watched the members of the family at their work, listened to them tell of their hopes and dreams. Now, before you go, there must be a pause, a time to think of the glory you have seen, a time to let that glory kindle a light within you that will make you a better citizen of your home, of your country, of your world.

I dare you, young 4-H man and woman accept the challenge of the words of Lincoln---

Speaking Choir To be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced ... that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom...

Did you think that freedom was born once and then lived forever?. Unless it is born again in the life of each of you, the freedom-born from the lives of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and the marines who raised the flag on Suribachi--will die as surely as if it had never been born. This is the unfinished work that Lincoln dares you to undertake.

Where can you start? Where did he start? When you looked up at him in the beautiful shrine to his memory did you think of his humble beginnings? Maybe it wasn't much by our standards, but it was his home. Home is a place, home is people-the individual, the community, the nation, and the world.

"There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that, object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day.
Or for many years stretching cycles of years."

-- Walt Whitman

Club Member

Club member lights candle.

Like this child. I am proud to have lived this week that has been an inspiration to me. I have seen club members come together in our club. While looking at the statue of Lincoln in the memorial some words that I read kept ringing in my ears.

Speaking Choir "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Club Member

Yes, Lincoln and others gave to each individual the 4-H Pledge.

I pledge my Head to clearer thinking - to think, plan, reason, and speak my mind.

This is for Freedom of Speech -

I pledge my Heart to greater loyalty to myself, my country, and the world for the ideals that I believe in.

This is my Freedom of Worship.

I pledge my Hands to larger service. I will learn skills and techniques and training with my hands.

This I will have Freedom From Want.

I will have freedom from fear. I pledge my Health for better living with a healthy mind and body,

This nation is for the individual singly and collectively.

Speaking Choir

"With antecedents With my fathers and mothers and the accumulations of past ages With all which, had it not been, I would not now be here as I am. In the names of this state and in your and my name, the Past, And in the name of this State and in your and my name, the Present time. I know that the past was great and the future will be great, And I know that both curiously conjoint in the present time, (for the sake of him, I typify, for the common average man's sake if you are he.) And that where I am or you are this present day, there is the centre of all days, all races, And there is the meaning to us of all that has ever come of races and days, or ever will come." -- Walt Whitman


I dare you, young man and woman of 4-H to light a candle of glory from the warmth of love and sacrifice found within your hearts.

Members light candle, turn to face group.

I dare you, man and woman who live in the time of the atom and the missile, to think tall, I dare you to find a new way to do old things, I dare you to do the impossible.

Speaking Choir

"I am a call in the midst of the crown, This is the city and I am one of the citizens. Whatever interests the rest interests me, politics, wars, markets, newspapers, schools, The major and councils, banks, tariffs, steamships, factories, stocks, stores, real estate, and personal estate. I acknowledge the duplicates of myself, the weakest and shallowest is deathless with me, What I do and say the same waits for them. Every thought that flounders in me the same flounders in them. It is time to explain myself-let us stand up." -- Walt Whitman

"Let me live in the house by the side of the road.
Where the race of men go by
The men who are good and the men who are bad
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Or hurl the cynics ban
But let me live in the house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man."
-- Sam Walter Foss


The community will change, you have no choice in the matter, but there is a choice you must make--are you going to be changed or are you going to be one of those who help bring about these changes?

He lights his flame.

I wish that the sharp blue flame of truth find the soft aura of vision would be kindled in the heart of each American youth so that he might be inspired to the glory of challenging the impossible.

Narrator I dare you, young man and woman of 4-H, to light a candle of glory for neighborliness. I dare you, young citizens of a half-free world, to share with others the fruits of your daring, to catch a passion for helping others.

Each day the world grows smaller; we are closer to our neighbor. Shall we chose to call him stranger and build a wall between us or shall we call him brother and between us build a better world?

"Year of the modern! Years of the unperform'd!"
Your horizon rises, I see it parting away for more August dramas,
I see not America only, not only Liberty's nation but other nations preparing.
I see tremendous entrances and exits, new combinations, the solidarity of races,
I see the force advancing with irresistible power on the world's stage.
I see the landmarks of European kings removed,
I see this day the People beginning their landmarks, (all others give way;) Never were such sharp questions ask'd as this day,
Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more like a God,
Lo, how he urges and urges, leaving the masses no rest!
His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere, he colonizes the Pacific, the Archipelagos,
(Have the old forces, the old wars, played their parts? Are the sets suitable to them closed?)
I see Freedom, completely arm'd and victorious with Law on one side and Peace on the other,
A stupendous trio all issuing forth against the idea of caste;
With this historic denouncements are these we so rapidly approach,
I see men marching and countermarching by swift millions, I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies broken,
With the steamship, the electric telegraph, the newspaper, the wholesale engines of war. With these and the world-spreading factories he interlinks all geography, all lands.
-- Walt Whitman


Do you Americans look out from the borders of your well established country and call us rebellious and dissatisfied? Have you forgotten a time when your forefathers felt this same way? Do you think that this was the end of the battle for freedom? It was more nearly the beginning. You have not finished the battle, for no man can be truly free when his brother is in chains. (I. F.Y. E. lights his flame)

I would wish for the rest of the world that they might nudge each other not by where they are, but by what they are, that they might work toward common goals in brotherhood.


I dare you young man and woman of 4-H, to light a candle of glory from the charity and respect of world brotherhood.

I dare you, young man and woman who walked through the halls of Congress, to place your conviction in your government beside that of Patrick Henry.....

Speaking Choir "The battle is not to the strong alone, it is to the vigilant, the active, the brace."
Narrator How vigilant, how active, how brave will you dare to be in order that your government may hold high the ideals for which it was founded?
Senator I've been a senator for a good many years, and I sometimes get tired of the haggling and the pettiness that are part of politics and government, but all night when I'm going home late, I turn and look back at the white dome gleaming against the darkness of the night, and I feel better. I know I'm doing the right thing. There's a reason why I'm here. I believe the only way you are going to get good government is by individuals working for the people "The people" didn't rise up against the British, they were awakened by a silversmith riding against the dawn. Our country didn't get where it is today by a lot of people saying, "Why me?" When a job was passed out, they grabbed hold and did it, because it had to be done. I may not be the best man for my job, but I believe in this country and I believe in its people. Woodrow Wilson gave a challenge that you young people should listen to today--
Speaking Choir

"We are not worthy to stand here unless we ourselves be in deed and in truth real servants of mankind, ready to give our very lives for the freedom and justice and spiritual exaltation of the great nation that shelters us."

Senator lights flame.

I would hope that the young people of America would have a clear insight for this country's destiny and the courage and perseverence to lead this country to fulfillment of that destiny.


I dare you, young man and woman of 4-H to light a candle of glory from the insight and courage of good citizenship.

4-H boy and girl light candle from Senators flame.

I would hope that the young people of American would have a clear insight for this country's destiny and the courage and perseverence to lead this country to fulfillment of that destiny.

I dare you, young man and woman of 4-H to light a candle of glory from the insight and courage of good citizenship.

4-H boy and girl light candle from Senator's flame.

Now, young men and women of 4-H, here shines the light of the glory you have seen. In these flames shine love, truth, brotherhood, and courage. Those of you who hold this light, hold it high. Look beyond the horizon to those of this community of our capitol and the world, share it. Continue to share this light.

But remember, as you walk away that behind you is the love and sacrifice of your opportunities of neighborliness, the brotherhood of the earth's people, and the courage of those who build this country from the devotion of their lives. All these are behind you. Now and in the future you will never walk alone.


Sing "You'll Never Walk Alone."

For each of you shines now the glory you have seen.
Before you put it out, light its challenge in your heart--
As a citizen of your community, nation, and world,
I dare you to stand tall in the security of the respect and love in your home.
I dare you to think tall in your heart. Love thy neighbor.
I dare you to smile tall in a warmth of brotherhood around our world.
I dare you to live tall in courageous dedication to the ideals of good citizenship in your home, you country, your world.
I dare you to be a part of the glory you have seen.


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