St. Brigit Episcopal Church invites the community to take a break from the hectic pace of the holidays and reflect on the cycle of nature. On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, at 7:00p.m. St. Brigit will celebrate the Winter Solstice with a special contemplative service. All are welcome to attend.
The Winter Solstice Service is part of St. Brigit’s Áit Caol (Gaelic for “A Thin Place") series. These are unique services marking the Winter and Summer Solstices as well as the Spring and Autumnal Equinoxes. The services incorporate live Celtic music, meditation areas designed to reflect the chosen scriptures and a contemporary liturgy (order of service). All aspects of the services reflect the seasonal theme, and are quite different from their regular services. Attendees sometimes travel as far as 50 miles to experience Áit Caol services.
Áit Caol services combine ancient Celtic spirituality with Christian theology. Although the ancient Celts regarded winter as the season of dormancy, darkness and cold, the coming of lighter days after the Winter Solstice brought a more festive mood. To the Celts, this return of the light was a reason to celebrate that nature’s cycle was continuing.
Some believe that Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World, was set in synchronization with the Winter Solstice because, from that point onwards, the days began to have more daylight. The tradition at St. Brigit is to observe the Solstice by reflecting on God’s presence with His people, even in the midst of darkness.
Christmas also is referred to as Yule, a pre-Christian festival observed at the time of the Winter Solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. St. Brigit’s Winter Solstice Service will end with a bonfire. Attendees will be invited to symbolically release anything that represents darkness in their lives by writing its name on a piece of paper and burning it in the bonfire.
St. Brigit Episcopal Church is located at 110 Johnson Street in Frederick. Please visit www.stbrigit.org or www.facebook.com/StBrigit for more information.