Today we are celebrating Samhain.
Samhain was the most important of the four great feasts for our Celtic ancestors. It marked the end of the old year and the beginning of the Celtic New Year.
The Celts believed that on this night of Samhain, the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead was at its thinnest .
At the feast of Samhain, the old year’s fires were extinguished and after sunset the ceremonial New Year Samhain fire was lit.
The lighting of the Samhain fire at the entrance of the darkest part of the year was symbolic of the victory of light over darkness.
Fire is also a symbol of the Divine presence within us.
For Saint Brigid the fire was the Light of Christ. Today we light our Samhain candle from the perpetual Brigid Flame which is a beacon of hope, peace, and justice for our world today.
We have created a sacred space and we draw your attention to the Tree.
In its annual cycle of life, a tree at this time of year must let go of its leaves. The old leaves before they fall nourish the tree and falling, they enrich the earth.
What do we see when the leaves fall? Bare branches? Yes, but if we look closely, we can see buds that come spring will be the new leaves in the new cycle of the life of the tree.
In the cycles of our lives we are called many times to let go of what no longer serves us. Letting go is difficult and painful. This year, the Covid pandemic has made difficult and heart-breaking demands on all of us to let go of what we are accustomed to having and doing in our lives.
Maybe we can take inspiration from the trees in autumn as they let go of the leaves that no longer serve them.
When we allow ourselves to let go and to accept what is, our hearts open creating a space where we may find new life, new hope, and new blessings.
At the base of the tree we have white cyclamen flowers.
The symbolism of cyclamen includes love and tenderness, coming to an end, death,. A very symbolic flower for this time of year and indeed these times.
We pray that we will support and be supported as we are called to let go of what no longer serves us. May we be guided in wisdom to see and find new ways of being for the good of ourselves, our families, friends, and the whole community.