A Joyful Path, Year Three – Week 16: Winter Ritual Celebration

For Classroom and Home School


Week 16: Winter / Element: Air / Wind
Ritual Celebration 2: Winter Solstice

Gathering Date That Falls Closest to the Solstice.


Each Seasonal Ritual Celebration is designed to be intimate (you and the children) or larger so your greater community or community partners may be invited for a time of prayer and ceremony. The celebration might be twenty minutes or it could become a half-day festival that happens on or off-site. Be creative! Build community! Celebrate!

Theme(s): Receiving Gifts in the Dark; Clarity, New Vision, and Togetherness

Additional Christian Context — If you would like to make this seasonal ritual and celebration more directly connected to the Christian calendar and liturgy, consider the following points:

  • This ritual may parallel or overlap with your community’s Christmas Eve preparations and/ or service. Add carols! “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” and several other carols speak to the return of Sun and Light as they describe the arrival of the Christ child.
  • Include the nativity scene in the altar set-up.
  • Welcome the birth of Jesus as the Christ candle is lighted and incorporate readings from the Gospels as desired to embrace the imagery of the North Star, the reassurance of angels in times of confusion or uncertainty, and God’s gift of Light that warms our hearts and fuels our faith, even when life feels cold.
  • Preparation for Winter Solstice Ritual Celebration:

    *  If the altar needed to be taken down, you will need to re-establish the altar with the altar cloth(s) and items you provided at your last class with the kids.

    *  You will also want an altar cloth (winter- colored scarves or cloth napkins work well), and other items like: the pinecones, evergreen boughs, red berries, holly, ivy, and mistletoe oranges, winter nuts, peppermints, etc. (or other items to match your ecosystem).

    *  For this ritual, the large altar candle (blessed with oil at the Autumn ritual) will represent the sun/Christ candle. You will also need enough small candles for each person present. NOTE: This can be small tea lights or a tray of sand/salt/rice with novena or birthday-sized candles in a cup to be lit and placed at the appointed time.

    *  There are several short readings in the ritual. Print the readings so they can be handed to a volunteer OR share your “script” with them.

    *  If the children were invited to bring additional altar items on their own, you may wish to send a reminder message a few days before, and be sure the altar has space for their additional offerings.

    *  Several bells in a basket, near the altar.

    *  Bring the smudge sticks created by the children. You may wish to create a short note to go with the smudge stick gifts, explaining how they are to be used, etc.

    *  Hot cocoa/cider ready in thermal container, or eggnog/juice and small paper cups

    Music Option:
    Winter Song, by Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles
    https://open.spotify.com/track/3hbj GZXUCqpn7E888qQvA?si=448272 a1b9094c41

    Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.

  • Review & Commentary