Sunday, December 6, 2015
Day Seven of Blogging Challenge
I love my church! Dick and I joined the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church a little over four years ago. We had both become pretty disillusioned with "organized religion", so for many years were not affiliated with any denomination. But, as time went on, we felt the need for a sense of community with like-minded people....and we fulfilled this need by finding Westside. But I diverse....
What I really wanted to blog about was our Sunday service yesterday. We were celebrating with the "Hanging of the Greens", a lovely ceremony which Myron and Linda Ice, two very talented church members, have developed. As Linda announced, this is the eighth year for it and each year seems better and better.
The church smells soooo good with the odor of fresh cut greenery in garlands around. As we sing our opening song, selected members parade in with large, beautiful wreathes which are hung on the side walls and will remain through December. Then several other members read the Candlelight litany to which the entire congregation responds "We are the light of the World" after each reading. Each of the nine readers lights a candle after their reading; the whole service is very moving!
As we truly are a non-denominational community, the focus this year was on how religions and nons, celebrate their own special traditions at this time of year. As yesterday was also the first day of Chanukah in the Jewish religion, our service reflected on the the story of Chanukah and how its meaning can have an effect on all of us. Then our closing song which everyone joined in on was "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me"! And here is the best part! As we are singing, every one spontaneously started holding hands and moving into a huge circle all around the church! Then we recited our closing which we say together each Sunday, "Let us go in peace; believe in Peace; and create peace in our lives and in the world."
I had tears in my eyes! Now there is a second part to why this particular song means so much to me personally which I will share with you in tomorrow's blog!