The Winter Solstice | The Rev. Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector

12.22.23 | Celebration, Community, International, Pulpit Posts, World

At 10:27 pm Eastern time, Thursday, December 21st, we passed the Winter Solstice. This marked the moment when the North Pole, which had been tilting farther and farther away from the Sun started to shift back. Thursday was the shortest day of the year, and daylight now begins to lengthen for the next six months. The solstice also marks the beginning of astronomical winter. (I learned this year that there is also a “meteorological winter” which began about three weeks ago – how did I never know this before?!)

The shortest day and longest night put me in mind of a prayer from Tess Ward’s Celtic Wheel of the Year: Celtic and Christian Seasonal Prayers:

From the rising of the midwinter sun to its setting,
scatter the darkness with the light of your love, O Shining One.
Make me short on mean thoughts, long on offering words of comfort.
Make me short on being driven, long on paying attention.
Make me short on focussing only on my own, long on looking beyond.
Make me short on obsessive lists, long on spontaneous acts of kindness.
Make me short on mindless activity, long on time to reflect.
Make me short on tradition as habit, long on re-discovery and re-owning.
Make me short on rushing and tiring, long on walking and wondering.
Make me short on false festive jollity, long on stilling and rooted joy.
Make me short on guilt, long on being merciful to myself.
Make me short on being overwhelmed, long on peaceableness as I set forth this day.

May this prayer be a companion for us through the whole winter season.

And may we all have a joyous Christmas!

Rev. Susan Hill

Rev. Susan Hill


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