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Winter Solstice Ritual

Dear Congregation and Friends,

This Sunday evening at 5pm, we will join faith communities from across the metro to honor the Solstice. All Souls Unitarian Universalist will host the ritual, which will include a Toast to the Trees, hot cider, cookies, and much more.

You may be wondering, “What is the solstice?”.

The Winter Solstice is also referred to as Yule or Samhain. This longest night of the year fills us with wonder. Will daylight return? Will it be night forever? Then, dawn appears sooner and sooner each day that follows. Yule is a time to honor the night, the new beginnings that are possible, and to celebrate the return of daylight.

Evergreens play a central role in Yule celebrations, representing everlasting life. Mistletoe is revered as a healer and protector, living between the worlds of sky and earth. Holly, Ivy, Yew, and Pine all have their own significance. Evergreens are draped across windows and doors, woven into wreaths, and represented by a full tree - Pines and Firs cherished as symbols of rebirth.

Yuletide celebrations were raucous affairs of wassailing, a tradition of visiting orchards to sing and toast the trees with hard cider. For me, Yule is a welcome contrast to the contemplative candlelight services of Christmas Eve. What significance does the longest night and return of daylight have for you?

See you Sunday,


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