The 6 January, for some people (myself included), is associated with wisdom and the celebration of wisdom: a time to seek wisdom’s infilling, a time of gratitude, a time of pausing, reflection and meditation upon the theme of wisdom.
Here are some resources that you might like to use (and adapt as necessary) for your wisdom celebration (whether done individually, as a family or faith group etc).
Explanations precede the liturgy here, that can be said as invocations, prayers and blessings etc, but you might find that even the explanations can be recited (by the leader, or to yourself) to inform others of what is about to happen and why, and so may be beneficial.
So, here are some resources for you to use:
Wisdom is present throughout the universe. The Source of All is ubiquitous, and so wisdom is to be found everywhere. Indeed wisdom permeates every atom of the universe.
Wisdom calls out to all who would hear her
She cries aloud in the streets,
she shouts in the marketplace,
she speaks in forests, mountain tops and valleys, and
she whispers to men and women, and to the children of mankind.
Wisdom calls out to all who would hear her.
Wisdom says, ‘I will pour out my spirit on you; to you will I make my ways known.’
‘When calamity strikes you, when anguish comes upon you, and when distress seemingly overtakes you, I will be there,’ says Wisdom. ‘My hand will be outstretched, and I, Wisdom can be found’.
Wisdom is better than choice gold. There is no deceit in her voice, nothing crooked in all her ways. All that you desire cannot compare with Wisdom. Wisdom says, ‘Look for me, and live’.
[With Proverbs 1:20–33 and Proverbs 8:1-11, the Book in mind]
A celebration or invocation wouldn’t be the same without the lighting of candles, the light of which reminds us of the elemental nature of fire, simplicity, the harking back to a former age, or focusses our minds on spiritual matters and sacred time/space. It ushers us into liminality.
And, so a candle can be lit just before you recite the phrase that relates to the earth, and then light another candle just before you recite the phrase that relates to the air, and so on as regards the other two elements. There is no rush – so do take your time, pause, and meditate (safely, with your eyes open – always conscious of fire safety), between phrases.
Wisdom from above, come to us at this time.
Wisdom of the earth, come and be the foundation upon which we stand.
Wisdom of the air, blow through us and dispel obstacles, and make way for the new.
Wisdom of fire, come and fill our hearts with wisdom that empowers and radiates.
Wisdom of water, flow through us to nurture us.
Wisdom from above, come to us at this time.
Perhaps, a time of prayer is called for. Below are sugestions of people and groups that you might like to pray for. If you have a form of words already for prayer you can add the following topics, and perhaps pause between each topic and think deeply and/or visualise the outcome.
However, you pray, it is intentionality that is important, so don’t worry if you don’t get it quite right (in the opinion of some).
You might like to prayer for
– the wisdom of elders, who grown older with poise, grace and dignity, and are there for others [you might know of some, and might like to name them]
– the wisdom and energy of those who seek to heal the earth [and you might say some names of individuals or charitable ecological organisations that deserve support]
– the wisdom of those who are in leadership at a local, regional, national or international level [and you might like to voice their names or the offices of leadership they hold, whether or not they maybe be your ‘favourite’ leader or politician]
– the wisdom of those who work with people to alleviate their suffering, poverty, loneliness etc [and if you know of individuals do name them, or name charitable agencies]
– the wisdom of tireless, quiet workers, who with joy spread wisdom throughout our society, in large and small ways – these may be people who are known to you, a neighbour, a school-teacher, someone who is their for you eg a family-member etc
– the wisdom of nature – of trees, animals, the elements etc, all of which are ‘silent teachers’ that are faithful to the cycle of nature and which impart their wisdom for those willing to pause.
These are just a few suggestions – do add to them. If you don’t have a form of words for prayer then speak from the heart – and ofcourse, I hope that you would be doing that anyway. Ofcourse you are. But don’t hold back. It’s intentionality that is important, not whether you get the wording or pronunciation just right.
And, enjoy it, too. Be joyful. There is wisdom in joy. Blessings to you on Wisdom Day, Tadhg.