I have news
cold wind, high
short his track
their form fled
wild geese cry
their usual cry
this is my news
~ from an Irish 9th Century poem.
The ancient Celts believed the year was divided into two parts, the lighter half in the summer and the darker half in the winter. Samhain (Sow-in) is the division between these halves – and the time when the veil between our world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. A time for remembering our ancestors and for cleansing the past. We prepare ourselves to dive into the rich velvety darkness that lies ahead. We line our metaphorical nests with decaying leaves and moss thick with the smell of humus.
Benevolent God, we believe that you accompany us in the darkness. We believe in a powerful spirit of love and creativity that permeates all life. Through prayer, we wrap ourselves and others in loving creative energy. In our Kootenay Presbytery Prayer Roster, we pray for Greg Powell, Chair of Kootenay Presbytery; in the World Council of Churches Prayer Cycle, we pray for Canada and the United States of America; we pray for Our Bienestar partners involved in the NUC outreach project in Guatemala; we pray for Our brothers & sisters at Nyanyadzi Methodist Churchin Zimbabwe; we pray for Peacemakers and peacekeepers, health care workers, teachers, engineers and the many who serve throughout the world through many organizations; we pray for the well being of our friends, neighbors and loved ones, community members and those named in our Prayer List… …take a moment to bring to mind the names of others you may wish to pray for silently or aloud.
And now take a moment to bring to mind your ancestors. Parents, grandparents, great grandparents reaching back through time and across continents like the roots of a tree. Not a straight line, but gnarled and knobby working it’s way around rocks and pebbles searching for sustenance, water and life. Remember with tenderness loved ones who have passed and are no longer by your side in the way they were before. Whisper their names quietly to yourself. Your breath like the faintest wind in the almost bare trees.
Benevolent God, we believe that you accompany us in the darkness. We believe in a powerful spirit of love and creativity that permeates all life. We never really know for sure if we are prepared for the darkness. Can we make it through the long nights? What about our fears, our self doubts? We do our best to be ready. Do we have enough firewood? Enough candles? Enough faith? And we pray, be with us God. Be with us now and always.
We end with words from Loreena McKennitt, from “Full Circle”
Stars were falling deep in the darkness
As prayers rose softly, petals at dawn
And as I listened, your voice seemed so clear
So calmly you were calling your god