Spirit of Life, source of all love,
Holy mystery containing all that is:
As the nights grow longer and longer,
help us know you as that radiant darkness
in which our deepest dreams come:
those dreams of love, of healing, of peace,
of our world created anew.
Help us not fear the darkness
but welcome it,
and rest in it.
Help us also know you as the flame
of candles and hearths
around whose warming light we gather
to tell each other stories:
giving thanks for all we have,
remembering those who have gone before,
gathering strength to make justice.
May those among us who have much
be granted vision to see and invite in
those who are lonely,
and may the lonely ones
be granted strength
to accept the invitation.
Spirit of Life, source of all change:
The end of autumn is nearly near
and all is darkness and waiting.
In the deep woods the tracks of animals
tell stories of lives unseen:
Bear has found a ground bees’ nest
dug it out
and eaten all the larvae.
Great Blue Heron
whose foot is longer than mine
has hunted in the canal for fish.
Young Raven has dropped sticks from a great height
and then gone to the ground
to see what became of them.
So much life goes on unseen—
at least by us—
because we are busy looking elsewhere.
How much life among humans
How many joys and sorrows
are tucked away in hearts
not quite brave enough to share?
What wells of longing
lie waiting to be tapped
by words of kindness,
a hand held out?
Who is putting on a brave face?
Who is just barely hanging on?
May we look carefully
into one another’s faces.
May we learn to read
each other’s signs.
May we offer each other deep listening
so true stories can emerge.
In this time of darkness and waiting,
help us pay close attention,
so that no life goes unseen.
Spirit of Life,
Great ocean of compassion
in which we live and move and have our being:
Here is a truth we know well:
there is suffering in life.
When we encounter suffering,
our own or that of others,
may we gather together
to bring one another comfort.
May we speak of our pain together
so none of us is alone.
May we learn from what we share.
May we make meaning from it.
And here is another truth we know well:
there is great beauty in life.
There is great joy.
When our cup is filled to the brim
with beauty and joy,
may we gather together in celebration.
May we sing songs of wonder and praise.
May we be thankful for our shared life.
Spirit of Life, Mystery beyond Mystery:
The days grow ever shorter now,
and clouds obscure the sun.
It is a dark and gray time.
Some of us make bright celebrations in our homes,
gathering friends and family and making merry.
Others are deeply lonely.
For them the holidays hold bitter memories.
They hope they will make it through.
May those of us with light in our hearts, and cheer,
take time to notice who among us is alone
and invite them in.
And may those who are lonely
make themselves known
and accept the invitation.
Let no one in this place weep alone.