Lighting the Solstice Candle:
We are conscious of you all as we link together through the wonder of the internet to celebrate this winter solstice.
We join with all our friends in the Southern Hemisphere as you celebrate your summer solstice.
We invite you to set up your own sacred space and be united with us as we share with you our reflection for Winter Solstice 2020.
Begin the celebration by lighting a Solstice candle 2020.
I light a candle and suddenly the world around me changes.
I am reminded yet again that one small flame is all it takes.
Journey from darkness to light:
We pause to celebrate the journey of light out of darkness. This is a turning point in the year when the sun appears to halt in its journey north, pauses and then begins to return on its journey south. . Today Monday, 21st December is the Winter solstice. This is the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun appears to be at its lowest point in our sky.
One of the most mysterious places in Ireland is the 5000 year old passage tomb at Newgrange, Co. Meath. A remarkable feature of NewGrange is its orientation to the Winter Solstice sunrise when for 17 minutes sunlight illuninates the heart of the tomb.. a powerful symbolism of light bursting into darkness,
Moladh go deo leat a Thiarna Dia,
A thug tu saor on oice me fein agus mo mhuintir
agus thug tu radharc aris dom ar sholas an lae.
Praise to you Lord God
you brought me and my people safe from the darkness
and you gave us sight for the light of day.
As we connect with one another through this time of reflection let us also remember the ancient ones, our ancestors, as we celebrate the re-birth of the sun, our star, and the birth of the Son of God.
In the midst of darkness there is Hope
The Winter Sosltice reminds us that in the midst of darkness there is great hope.
The seed in the earth must have darkness in order to grow.
We were fashioned and formed in the darkness of our mother’s womb.
After a day of hard work it is good to turn off the light and rest in the darkness.
We need darkness to see the wondorous sky with its display of moon, stars, and planets.
Darkness is a special l gift but we do not always see it that way.
The challenge is to find meaning in the darkness.
Let us pause for a few moments to reflect on darkness. Pause….
There is a lot of darkness in our world at this time Pause…
We invite you, to bring to mind the dark places, the dark spaces in our world.
In those places of darkness, a glimmer of hope can be found.
Hope is found in the cosmos itself, in the natural world, and in the resiliance and strength of the human spirit and in the light of love shown by many- individuals, groups, and volunteers who have shone and continue to shine a light of hope into the lives of all who feel marginalised.
Welcoming the birth of the Son of God
In the Old Testament the prophet Isaiah exclaims:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. On those who live in a land of deep shadow, a light has shone.
With the arrival of Christianity the flame of our ancient heritage was transformed into the Light of Christ.
“While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem the time came for her to
deliver her child. And she gave birth to her first born son and
wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in a manager.”
(You might like to sing/play Silent Night at this time)
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
We are all bearers of the light. Scientists tell us that when we send out positive energy it has a positive impact wherever it is sent.
So as we celebrate the Solstice, let us together send out light from our hearts to our families and friends
Let us send out light from our hearts to those who are suffering pain and loss at this time
Let us send out light from our hearts to places and spaces where there is darkness.
And as we say in our Irish language, the language of our Ancestors:
Solas geal na greine ag soilsiu in ar gcroithe May the light of the sun shine in our hearts
Solas geal na greine ag scapadh ceo na hoiche May the light of the sun scatter the darkness of the night
Solas Iosa Chriost in ar measc agus in ar dtimpeall. May the light of Jesus Christ be in our midst and around us.
We hope you have a peace filled, grace filled, hope filled Christmas and may 2021 be richly blessed for you.