The Winter Solstice marks the midway point of darkness for the northern hemisphere. Depending on how far north you live, this marks a great celebration among some peoples for the return of the light, signifying a renewal of life and the turning of the seasons.
Invocation 3:30 PM PST
(Strike a match to begin, then light a candle as you speak)
We light a light
In the name of the God who creates life,
In the name of the Savior who loves life,
In the name of the Spirit who is the fire of life.
To prepare yourself for this experience, please join in spirit or in song (muted) as you feel led or are able (press play to listen to “Within Our Darkest Night”):
Black is probably the most ancient colour, the primal birth-source whence everything emerged. Darkness is the great canvas against which beauty becomes visible. Darkness withholds presence; it resists the beam of eye-light ad deepens the mystery. The slightest flicker of bright wings can make the darkness of a night unforgettable. It is fascinating to consider that ancient kinship of light and dark, white and black. White light always shapes the darkest shadow. Indeed the shadow is the child of the threshold where black and white converge. There could be no shadow without light.
Sharing of Darkness and Light
“Take us into silence God of all, embrace us with the silence out of which the universe was made” ~ Janet Lees
Pieces of darkness and shadow: Sometimes we can bravely share the stuff of shadow; other times it is best to let it rest. If you have a prayer for a darkened or shadow place in your life, and if the Universe could take any hurt you have seen or experienced, would you let it go? We invite you now to release it …
To listen to “I Am Light” press play.
Darkness can also be a place of rest. Secure in sleep or gazing in silence at the starry night sky, we can rest in quiet and learn to let the darkness give us rest. We invite you now to rest in the shadows of darkness, and wait for the light.
Journal/Chat/Comment Prompt: When you are waiting, how do you wait? What is active? What surrounds you? What are you expecting next?
Waking as if from sleep to the dawn of a new day, the light increases. Where have you seen the Light increase around you? How can you bring more light to yourself, to your loved ones, or into the world? Feel free to share your response either in the chat, live, or for those joining after the event, in the comments below.
A Reading Inspired by Genesis 1
On the fourth day God said, “Let there be lights in the heavens.”
So the wind carried fire on its wings and scattered light through the skies. There was a great light to rule the day and a gentler light to rule the night; and there were glittering galaxies beyond number.
The sun, the moon and stars moved in harmony. They guided the seasons. They marked the days and the years.
They shone on earth as signs of heaven.
God saw that it was good. And there was evening and morning, creation’s fourth day.
Blessed are you in the high heavens, O God. Let the sun and the moon praise you. Let the stars and all that shines with glory praise you. For you are the God of all creation.
In the rising of the sun and its setting, in the whiteness of the moon and its seasons, in the infinity of space and its shining stars you are God and we bless you.
May we know the harmony of heaven in the relationship of earth and may we know the expanse of its mystery within us.
As we prepare to go into the world, we offer the following song and invite you to listen while watching the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. Reflect on how these planets become a “Christmas Star” for you, echoing that same bright solstice so long ago. Thank you for attending, and may you be blessed.
Navigate to the Lowell Observatory Live Stream Conjunction (recording available):
Click on “Live Stream” on their site (below) at 4:00 PM Pacific Standard Time
“In the dawning of the day, new light arises. In the dawning of each day, our own souls rise, lights reflecting The Light, rising to reflect our own resurrections” ~ stc
This service made possible in partnership with Chaplain Brian Anderson of Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, AK; Kristin Anderson, Spiritual Director and SoulCollage® Facilitator, Anchorage, AK; and Rev. Dr. Scott T. Crane, Pastor Trout Lake FPC, Trout Lake, WA.
 John Philip Newell, Celtic Treasure: Daily Scriptures and Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005), 16.
 John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace (Broadway, NY: Harper Collins, 2004), 93.
 Janet Lees, Word of Mouth: Using the Remembered Bible for Building Community (Iona, Scotland: Wild Goose Publication, 2007).
 Newell, 17.
 Newell, 17.
 Newell, 18.