Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Christmas Eve Candle Light Service Prayer 2009

Christmas Eve Prayer 2009

Family Minister                         UU Society of Sacramento, CA

I invite you to take a deep breath with me and let it out.   Now please join me in the spirit of reflection and hope as I offer these words of prayer.

Eternal Source of Love and Grace, bless us this night and bless our world with peace.  With dark skies and a chill in the outside air, we draw near for warmth and fellowship.  We gather to hear the story of a babe in a manger, sing songs about angels and shepherds, and notice one another’s beautiful faces reflected in the light of candles.  We give thanks for the children among us.  May their anticipation cheer us to open our hearts to wonder,  and to gratitude for the gifts of life.  We give thanks for the grownups, who not only bring rich memories of years past but also help us build new memories.

We give thanks for the blessings that give the season its texture:  music, literature, and other arts; special food and lots of it, and the personal donations of time and money that make a difference in the world.  Let us remember those who are working this night at various jobs, and care for those who are out of work and hoping for better times.

Many of those we love are traveling in this season; may they be safe and have good experiences.  On Tuesday our member Cxxxs Bxxxx had a car accident and now is in intensive care, as she recovers from neck surgery.  We send our love to Cxxxx.  May we send healing prayers to all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit.    For many of us, this season brings to mind those we have lost.  In our sadness may we find comfort in precious memories.  Among us are those with “sorrows unrelated to the season but which feel all the more pointed now.”[i] May we find ease in the embrace of community.  .

Given that we all have lonely times, may we strive to reach out so that we might give and receive the gifts of warmth, attention, and understanding.

On this night we call to mind those who are hungry, homeless or without stable housing.  Let us be grateful for people who extend the hand of compassion, generosity and hospitality, and who know how much it means to share with others.  We extend our care to those in zones of war, occupation and other places of violence, those who serve there and those who call such places home.  Let us pray for justice and reconciliation–and for enough courage to achieve such holy aims.

We give thanks for the abundance of this earth—for its gifts of food, water, wilderness, and countless dazzling forms of life whose claim to existence is no less worthy than our own.  May we grow in stewardship of the gifts of our precious planet.

While we observe Christmas tonight, we know that we live in a land of many faith traditions, each with its own gifts of wonder, wisdom, and compassion.  Let us call forth all the good will of humanity to share these gifts, and move toward the vision of an earth made fair.

Spirit of Life, bless us this night and bless our world with peace.  So may it be.

Now let us take a half-minute of silence to be present in our bodies and our breathing, to feel ourselves fully here, together on this night.

[i] Quoted from an email from a parishioner this morning.


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