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"Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace) -- UUSE Virtual Worship, December 17, 2023

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Gathering Music

Welcome & Announcements



"Concerto in C minor for Violin and Oboe (adagio)"

by J. S. Bach

Performed by Anhared Stowe, Marilyn Krentzman, Ryan Ford, & Mary Bopp

Chalice Lighting

Words paraphrased from "Inner Practices for the Twelve Nights of Yuletide"

by Anne Stallkamp and Werner Hartung

The twelve magical nights of the Yuletide season are a single great festival, a threshold, a time of transition, a moment in which to stop and take stock and yet a time for looking ahead to the coming year.

In general, we believe that the end of something simultaneously marks the start of something new. However, there is a space between an end and a new beginning, an interval. Right now, this space is Yuletide.

Given the busy time in the lead up to the holidays, the beginning of this period might not appear to be the most convenient moment in which to take some time out to explore our feelings, but in fact, it is particularly sutitable.

The space between the ending and the beginning will suddenly open up, and the gates of time will unlock. Today is calling on you to stand still, to pause for a moment, and to be completely calm. Fill this space of silence and emptiness, this place of power, creation, and creativity with your love and your truth.

Chalice Lighting Music

"One Candle, One Flame"

by Linda Sobo

Performed by UUSE Choir with Dorothy Bognar, pianist

Opening Hymn

#253 "O Come, All Ye Faithful"

O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant

O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.

Come and behold him born the King of angels;

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Lo humble shepherds, hasting to his cradle,

Leaving their flocks in the fields, draw near

We, too, with gladness thither bend our footsteps;

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!

Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Story: "The Shortest Day" by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis

Musical Meditation (9:00 a.m. service only)

Children's Choir (11:00 a.m. service only)

Welcoming Visitors & Sharing of Joys & Concerns


Continuing our practice of sharing our gifts with the community beyond our walls, fifty percent of our Sunday plate collections for the month of December will go to three area shelters: McKinney Men's Shelter (Hartford), East Hartford Community Shelter, and Cornerstone Shelter (Rockville)

Offering Music

Holiday Favorites

Performed by the Ford Family Trio

(Margeaux, Simone, & Ryan Ford)

Responsive Reading: "We are Waiting"

This is the season of anticipation,

Of expecting, of hoping, of wanting.

This is the time of expecting the arrival of something--or someone.

We are waiting.

This is the time of living in darkness, in the hues of unknowing.

Of being quiet, of reflecting on a year almost past.

Waiting for a new beginning, for a closing or an end.

This is the time for digesting the lessons of days gone past, anticipating the future

for which

We are waiting.

Waiting for a world which can know justice.

Waiting for lasting peace.

Waiting for the bridge to span the divides which separate us.

Waiting for a promise or a hope.

For all of this

We are waiting.

Amen and blessed be.


Shine on Me

by Rollo Dilworth

Night of Silence

by Daniel Kantor

One Candle

by Andy Beck

Performed by UUSE Choir

with Dorothy Bognar, piano; Steve Dauphinas, drums

Closing Hymn

#388 Dona Nobis Pacem

Dona nobis pacem, pacem,

Dona nobis pacem.

Dona nobis pacem,

Dona nobis pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, dona nobis pacem.

Closing Words excerpt from "Winter Solstice" by the Rev. Rebecca Parker

Let there be a season

When holiness is heard, and

The splendor of living is revealed.

Stunned to stillness by beauty

We remember who we are and why we are here.

There are inexplicable mysteries.

We are not alone.

In the universe there moves a Wild One

Whose gestures alter earth's axis

toward love.

In the immense darkness

Everything spins with joy.

The cosmos enfolds us.

We are caught in a web of stars,

Cradled in a swaying embrace,

Rocked by the holy night,

Babes of the universe.

Let this be the time

we wake to life,

Like spring wakes, in the moment

of winter solstice.

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

May faith in the spirit of life

And hope for the community of earth

And love of the light in each other

Be ours now, and in all the days to come.

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