Winter Lights

Robin Mitzcavitch, Director of Religious Exploration

What I love about the winter holidays are the glorious lights used around the world to celebrate the season. In times long ago, without the light, darkness and fear could prevail. The yule log was illuminated to match the stars. The warmth, ritual, words spoken and songs sung filled the darkness. 

Vickie Cox-Lanyon and I spent some time with the UUCW children this past Sunday to talk about the lights of the season and to make our own light: a UU chalice. We also watched a video (see below) that was created by Vickie to give an overview of the lights we honor during this season. 

 The Unitarian Universalists’ symbol and light is the Flaming Chalice. Many of our congregations light their chalice in gatherings and worships and feature the chalice symbol on their signs and buildings and media.

The UUA website writes:

“Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love. Unitarian Universalists today have many different interpretations of the flaming chalice, including the light of reason, the warmth of community, and the flame of hope”

I like defining our chalice symbol as the flame of hope. I see the varied winter celebrations around the world, and also define their lights that way. Light is hope for all. Light prevails during dark times no matter how you participate in the holidays.

I’m excited for this Sunday, December 18th, at 4pm when we gather for our Annual Vespers Service. This year, the title of the service is “A Winter’s Sojourn” and we invite folks to partake in the service’s play if you desire. Join us on stage in costume (or as you are,) as part of the story we will narrate throughout the service..

 If you’ve never attended UUCW Vespers, I recommend that you come along on Sunday. This service will move you in many ways. For me, the flame of the chalice, the flickering vespers candles, the stars, the lights, are all flames of hope… hope in a community gathered in peace and in love.  Let’s join together again and feel the power of Winter Lights.  

Here is a beautiful video, made by Vickie Cox Lanyon, called Winter Lights.  Enjoy!