On the altar: 4 candles for the directions, a wreath with 4 candles around the edges and a 5th (larger) candle in the middle.
Calling the Circle
The circle is cast using water, incense and green Celtic cross.
Be cleansed, be pure, be blessed by the Mother.
Be holy, be strong, be consecrated to the Lord.
Green Celtic cross
By the will and power of all present,
we stand outside time,
in a place not of earth.
As our ancestors before us bade,
we join together and are one.
Calling the Directions
White candle in the center:
Mother of all life, soul of our being, center of all our longing,
who shines for all and flows through all,
Be with us, guide us, now and always.
Candles representing the four directions:
As we light the candle of the east, we remember that it represents the element of air, morning, spring, and birth.
As we light the candle of the south, we remember that it represents the element of fire, noon time, summer and adulthood.
As we light the candle of the west, we remember that it represents the element of water, evening, autumn, and maturity.
As we light the candle of the north, we remember that it represents the element of Earth, night time, winter, and old age.
The circle is open, where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow, meet as one.
Winter Solstice Meditation
At the darkest moment of the year, light is reborn. From the womb of night is born the child of light who is the returning year. Solstice reminds us that the Goddess is, beyond all, associated with regeneration. Death gives way to birth, endings to new beginnings.
The solstice reminds us that every quality contains and gives way to its opposite. There can be no light without darkness. No darkness without light. Justice is not a question of one side defeating the other, but of finding the dynamic balance between them that generates the energies that sustain the world.
Throughout the longest night, we keep vigil. We bake bread: its swelling dough reminds us of the swelling belly of pregnancy. At dawn, when the great Mother gives birth to the New Year Child, we climb the hills to sing and dance and drum for the rising sun. Hope and inspiration arise within us, and we look on the world with the fresh eyes of a child.
Silence (20 Minutes)
Honoring the Yuletide and Winter Solstice
Winter brings the long night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of the Mother
Let us rejoice in the presence of the God.
Light the first candle in the wreath.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done.
What has not been done has not been done; let it be.
Night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness, of the world, and of our own lives
Rest with you.
Night is quiet.
Let the quietness of peace enfold us,
All dear to us,
And all who have no peace.
Night heralds the dawn.
May we look expectantly to a new day,
New possibilities. Adapted from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer
Light the second candle in the wreath.
The darkest night of the year is upon us. I invite you to give thanks for the blessings and the bounty that you have received.
Everyone offers their thanksgivings.
Light the third candle in the wreath.
Agape Meal: Elevate food and drink..symbolic of our potluck feast to follow.
We give thinks for the bounty that we have received.
Pass the food and drink to each other with these words:
May you never hunger.
May you never thirst.
Light the fourth candle.
The Earth is asleep,
but the season is turning,
and Spring will come.
Light the center candle.
The Source bears the waxing light of life.
The Light grows from the Source and within us.
The circle remains open, but unbroken.
The time for Celebration is upon us.
Adapted from ritual by Atlanta Cat, Jack Mitchell, Karin Arnst, Shawn Lassiter
Reference the internet “Interfaith Yuletide Ritual”