When I first began celebrating my faith, it was a very personal, singular and solitary experience.
As I joined my grove and then began celebrating with my then boyfriend, I wanted to create a tradition that could be celebrated no matter the finances. Something that would be meaningful and help us celebrate Yule and remember the light on the darkest night of the year.
I wracked my brain and struggled to think of something clever. I had not had any experience writing liturgy by that point and frankly got frustrated. I gave up pre-planning, defeated and disappointed in myself.
But on the night of Yule, inspiration struck! I looked around the house and realized how many candles we had around and an idea came to me! So I grabbed some matches and turned off the lights. We sat down in the center of the living room, and said an impromptu prayer in the darkness. (A sample set of prayers are below) We contemplated the shortest day and longest night and the meaning that could have in our lives.
Then we went to our Kildare Flame and lit the candle. We brought the first light into the space and were grateful. We thanked many, our ancestors, our nature spirits and especially Brigid, Prometheus and other light-bringers.
Then began the fun part! We lit another candle off of that initial hearth flame and then began looking around for all of the candles in our house and lighting them. This was a fun little search that led our home to be warmed by candle light begun from the center and heart of our home.
When we found all the candles we could, we returned to sitting together and reflecting on the warmth of our home and the fires if piety and inspiration we intended to bring forward from this night on as the days began to grow longer again and the light would return to us. We talked about how on the darkest night of the year, our home is warmed and brightened by our love for one another, and we spent the rest of the night talking and spending time together, with no electronics and just one another’s attention.
That impromptu tradition has become an annual one, seven years old. It is a night for being grateful and focusing on our family and home.
Now that we have littles, however, we have modified some of the candles to the LED switch candles, so it gives the same feel and warmth, but less fire hazard! I plan in the future, to have a little present for the person who finds the most candles. And then following up with cocoa and games.
I hope this gives a low-cost idea to celebrate Yule. And if you do try this, I would love to hear how you found it!
Be well and have a blessed Yule!
Kindred all [Higher Power of choice],
your children call out to you in the dark of night.
We have lit a fire at our hearth and we ask you join with us.
Bless this fire and look upon us huddled in the darkness.
We thank you for the warmth of our family,
for the fires of piety, and the protection of our home.
Bless this fire and this family and help us to remember
this light in our darkest times.
Kindred all [Higher Power of choice], we thank you.