Winter solstice ritual
Tomorrow is the first day of winter, the longest night of the year.
The following is adapted from “Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim,” by Edward Hays.
Materials needed: solstice candle; a fire pit, if possible, if you will be outside or a fireplace indoors; smaller candles for everyone; flash light for the leader.
(Begin by sitting in darkness for a short time)
Leader: Let us take into our hands a solstice candle
or Let us light the sacred solstice fire.
We pray on the night of ancient fear, when those who have gone before us were fearful of what lurked outside the ring of fire of light and warmth. They feared all that prowled in the darkness: evil, disease, death, beasts that might destroy them and the hidden dangers of winter.
Light candle or fire
As we light this fire, we ask that God who is the fullness of light would protect each of us on this night from what we fear the most.
(A silent pause for reflection/maybe time to share your fears)
Leader walks around the group with the solstice candle saying:
May we all be encircled by the magic of fire, by the warmth of the light and love of God and the flame of our friendship with one another. May we, who are seated here, be protected from all harm and disease, all evil and wickedness.
On this holy night that welcomes the season of winter, it was the ancient custom to exchange the gift of light, symbolic of the gift of the new light of the sun.
(Candles are given to each participant and lit from the solstice candle with the greeting, “Light be with you.”)
If you are in the Saint Mary-of-the Woods area this evening, please join us for a Winter Solstice celebration at 6:30 p.m. (EST) at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice.
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