I love liturgy. Not only can words cause us to pause and think deeper, but the words of liturgy can have an even more beneficial effect. Words have power. With a word all that is visible and invisible was created and is sustained. With a word we make life-long promises to each other. And, with a word we can encourage someone or, sadly, dehumanise them.
Through the words of liturgy we can be ‘transported’ to, and dwell within the realm of the liminal, that ‘gap’ between Here and the Other, a place of power and potential, where things happen, and where we can be changed.
‘The magic of words is that they have power to do more than convey meaning; not only do they have the power to make things clear, they make things happen.’ Frederick Buechner
Liturgy can have a greater and more far-reaching positive effect that we can possibly imagine as your thoughts, intentionality and energy affect the web of connectedness.
The following liturgy is a suggestion, and one that I find useful in connection with my ‘path’. I offer it to you to use, if appropriate to your ‘path’ at this time of the year. If it isn’t, then please adapt it.
In the Druidic and Celtic tradition the name of this season’s festival is ‘Alban Arthan’, Welsh for ‘Light of Winter’ (although some may refer to it as the ‘Light of Arthur’. Whichever you prefer to use, in the lead up to this time, the following liturgy can be incorporated within another ceremony appropriate for the season that you might be using, or adapted, as you wish.
‘Words are containers for power, you choose what kind of power they carry.’ Joyce Meyer
Requirement: 5 Candles and a candleholder (Advent-style). The candles can be lit five days before Alban Arthan (Friday, 21 December 2018) or Christmas day, or all at once of a time of your choosing. Remember, it is intentionality that is important, and ritual serves you, to bring you closer to the Source of All.
The following may be recited, as the first candle is lit:
All: We walked in darkness, but you showed us the light. We pray for those (individuals and nations) that walk in darkness, that they, too, may see the light that shines in the darkness, and rises (like the wind) in the east. (Based on Isaiah 9.2)
The following may be recited, as the second candle is lit:
All: The light shines in the darkness, still. And the darkness did not comprehend it. We give thanks for the light continues to shine and guides us on the right path as the sun that shines in the noonday, the southern sky. (Based on John 1:5)
The following may be recited, as the third candle is lit:
All: You are the light of all that is, and indwell all of creation, so that we, too, let our light shine. We seek ways to live out that light in our life, in service to all as water flows through the land to the western sea. (Based on Matthew 5:14)
The following may be recited, as the fourth candle is lit:
All: There will be no night there, because Your light will illumine us. We praise you for that great promise of light as we stand firm with our feet on the earth, looking to the north. (Based on Revelation 22:5)
The following may be recited, as the fifth candle is lit:
All: Light from Light Eternal, Spirit incarnated this happy morning, we greet you. (Based on a carol, based on ancient sacred text)
You might like to personalise the liturgy and add peoples names, or the names of countries or towns or places in need. There is a need for the light of wisdom to be established in the world, to bring up the plight of humankind’s damage to nature and the climate, to ponder injustice etc. Do adapt the liturgy as needed.
Also, you might light to turn to the four compass points as part of your ritual. Do adapt, do keep it simple, do make it meaningful for you or your group, and do enjoy it.
‘Your words become your world.’ Nadeem Kazi