In the UU Fellowship of Central Michigan, Christmas week means a special service on Christmas Eve. Although we are not a Christian religion, the roots of Unitarianism and Universalism are Christian. Also, a majority of the congregation has an affiliation with Christian traditions through family and upbringing. Therefore Christmas Eve is the one non-Sunday worship service that is on the Fellowship calendar consistently every year. This year, due to COVID, we are trying something new: an outdoor-only Christmas Eve service that allows us to sing our favorite Christmas carols together and to hold lighted candles as we sing “Silent Night.” I’m hoping for good weather.
As we celebrated Hanukkah earlier this month; as we celebrated Yule a few days ago; as we will celebrate Kwanzaa next Sunday, and New Years’s Eve after that, Christmas is one of the holidays in the American Winter Holiday Cycle. I got that phrase from Rev. Mary Grigolia, who devised a spiritual practice for this season called 12 Days. It is a series of daily reflection questions for the twelve days from the winter solstice to New Year’s Day, an invitation to use the quiet time, the dark time, the holiday time, the end of year time to reflect and take stock of our lives. I’ve been doing that spiritual practice for several years.
Whatever your spiritual practice these days, I hope that you find peace in this time. Maybe you have a few days of well-deserved vacation. Maybe you are gathering with family from nearby or form far away. If it is part of your tradition, maybe you are engaged with Christmas rituals this week. I hope that this season brings you good health and that you know you are loved and never alone.
Spirit of Life and Love, may we use this season of darkness and winter holidays to rest, to heal, to reflect. May we find peace and joy in Christmas this week, in Kwanzaa next week, in every holiday we encounter. May every day be a blessing and an opportunity to connect with one another and with the divine within.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
December 23, 2021
I will be taking a break from writing the minister’s column next week.
Look for another column on Thursday, January 6.