In Community – Singing

“So, the shortest day came and the year died.


And everywhere, down the centuries

of the snow white world

came people singing, dancing, to drive the

dark away.


They lighted candles in the winter trees.

They hung their homes with evergreen.

They burned beseeching fires all night long

to keep the year alive.

And when the new day’s sunshine blazed awake,

they shouted, reveling.

Through all across the ages you can hear them,

echoing behind us.




I know a lot of musicians who hate holiday music. They dread pulling out the music in early October so they can be ready for the deluge of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, etc. I get it, the prospect of so many extra rehearsals, services, concerts, along with music you might perform every single year getting stale. As the leaves change and the days get shorter our free time starts to disappear.


I must admit, I look forward to it. I might be a Jewish leaning Atheist but I sure love Christmas Carols. I can’t wait for the first choir rehearsal in October when we break out the Caroling Songbook and meet these old songs like old friends. There’s a camaraderie between the singers and these songs. Through the hustle and bustle, the holiday drama, the lack of sunlight, and over-abundance of cookies we sing these songs together and are steeped in sweet memories.


Our Unitarian Universalism brings us deeply into the mystery of the season. We embrace the plurality of December. We light candles in the darkness and sing with joy and reverence.


“All the long echoes sing the same delight this shortest day.

As promise wakens in the sleeping land,

they carol, they feast, they give thanks,

and dearly love their friends and hope forpeace.


And so do we, here and now, this year and

every year.”


— Susan Cooper