Winter’s Cloak

Winter’s Cloak by Joyce Rupp

This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled me away
from the chamber
of gestation.

Let the dawns
come late,
let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.

Let me lie in the cave
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source
of revelation.

Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter’s passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.

NOTE

Rupp is a writer as well as Co-Director of the Institute of Compassionate Presence.

Wassail Song

Originally at https://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/wassail_song-1.htm

Alternate Titles: “Here We Come A Wassailing,” “Here We Come A-Caroling,” and “Here We Go A-Caroling.”

Words: English Traditional, 17th century

Music: Traditional English Wassail Song, 17th century

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, Second Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #37

1. Here we come a wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wandering
So fair to be seen.

Chorus
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you a happy New Year.
And God send you a happy New Year.

2. Our wassail cup is made
Of the rosemary tree,
And so is your beer
Of the best barley. Chorus

3. We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbours’ children
Whom you have seen before. Chorus

4. Good Master and good Mistress,
As you sit by the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Are wandering in the mire. Chorus

5. We have a little purse
Made of ratching leather skin;1
We want some of your small change2
To line it well within. Chorus

6. Call up the Butler of this house,
Put on his golden ring;
Let him bring us a glass of beer,
And the better we shall sing. Chorus

7. Bring us out a table,
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a mouldy cheese,
And some of your Christmas loaf. Chorus

8. God bless the Master of this house,
Likewise the Mistress too;
And all the little children
That round the table go. Chorus

1. Bramley and Stainer add a footnote explaining that ratching is leather that will stretch. Shaw and Dearmer, in The English Carol Book, First Series, substitute the word stretching, as does Rickert

2. Joshua Sylvester has “We want a little of your money.” 

LISTEN

Solstice Carol

The old carol “A Soalin” changed to more of a pagan mindset.
Lyrics by Catt Kingsgrave, recorded by Ravens

Heigh Ho, Fire’s glow;
West and South and North do know
In the East he rises
Heigh Ho, Fire’s glow

The night is endless long now, the snow lay all around
The pregnant moon sails brightly above the bitter ground
And on the ground we circle, our fires blazing high
Tonight we meet to raise the Sun Child to the sky

A sol, a sol, a Solstice, please you Sirs, a Solstice
Deep the night and far the dawn
Join our circle, call Him on
One for summer’s dreaming thrall, 
One for winter, dance we all.

(Heigh Ho round X2)

Come soft now, Maiden Mother, our dance is for your son
And for the turning season and life anew begun
In summer well you loved him, and served him death in fall
Your lover is the Sun now, dance we dance we all

A sol, a sol, a Solstice, please you Sirs, a Solstice
Gone the night, the day is nigh
Join our circle, raise him high
One for summer’s dreaming thrall, 
One for winter, dance we all

(Heigh Ho round x3)

Go merry met, my gentle friends, let nothing you dismay
The bright Son of our Lady comes birthing with the day
To free us all from winter’s grasp and mind us all of may
Oh tidings of comfort and joy…

LISTEN

Festival of Light

by New Troubadors

(Words by David Spangler; Music by Milenko Matanovic)

LYRICS

This is the Festival, the Festival of Light

Sing for the candles burning brightly through the night

Sing for the light abroad that guides our destiny

Sing for the light of love that builds community

 

Sing for the wise ones, men and women who

Light up our way with visions that are true

Sing for our children who are candles of the dawn

Giving us the promise that our light will carry on

 

This is the festival, the festival of light

Sing for the love that shall make this world ignite

A flame with a beauty that awakes in every heart

Sing for the will that can make that fire start

 

Follow the light that leads within us to the birth

Of love and harmony, and peace for all upon the earth

 

We are the festival, we are the light

We are the candles burning brightly in the night

 

We are the festival, we are the light

We are the candles burning brightly in the night

 

We are the festival, we are the light

We are the candles burning brightly in the night

NOTES

Used many times for the Annual Winter Solstice Service.  Esp the first one in 1994.

http://lorianpress.com/troubs.htm

 

#58 Ring Out Wild Bells

 

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild, wild sky,
the flying cloud, the frosty light:
the year is dying in the night;
ring out, wild bells, and let it die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
ring, happy bells, across the snow:
the year is going, let it go;
ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
for those that here we see no more;
ring out the feud of rich and poor;
ring in redress to humankind.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
the civic slander and the spite;
ring in the love of truth and right;
ring in the common love of good.

NOTES

http://farfringe.com/stlt58-ring-out-wild-bells/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_Out,_Wild_Bells

LISTEN

 

Solstice Song

Song by Denise Jordan Finley

I heard your voice upon the wind
As northerly it came
Now I see your face again
As you call out your name

When I feel your frosty breath
Tears will fall like snow
Who will melt your heart of ice
Who can only know

The musky scent of earth’s decay
Hangs heavy on the breeze
Breezes turn to winds one day
And rock the very trees

When you rage through rusty woods
Leaves will fall like rain
Who can calm your heart so cruel
Who can only name

When the ring around the moon
Lends beauty to the night
Planets circle round the sun
And bask in borrowed light

If a taste of spring should wake
What winter white would quell
Who can own the mystery
Who can only tell

Twelve Days of Solstice

Tune: Twelve Days of Chrismas

Words by by Carusone

“On the first day of Yuletide my true love gave to me,
a Circle ’round a Pine Tree.

On the second day of Yuletide my true love gave to me,
Two pointed Horns
and a Circle ’round a Pine Tree.”

etc.

  1. A Circle ’round a Pine Tree
  2. Two pointed Horns
  3. Three Silver Cups
  4. Four Pentagrams
  5. Five Magick Rings
  6. Six Critters Fetching
  7. Seven Candles Glowing
  8. Eight Fires Blazing
  9. Nine Herbs a-Brewing
  10. Ten Stones a-Standing
  11. Eleven Brooms a-Flying
  12. Twelve Witches Dancing

LISTEN

Silver Moon

(Tune: Silver Bells)

City witches, busy witches
Dressed in festival style
In the air there’s a feeling of ritual.

Women laughing, circle passing
Sharing smile after smile
And ‘round every hearth fire you hear:

Silver moon, Mother moon
It’s Goddess time in the city.
Circling, hear them sing,
Soon it will be Solstice Day!

Strings of candles, held by handles
Give a flickering glow
As the witches weave magickal treasures.

Touching changing, changing touching
This is Diana’s scene
And with all the blessings you hear:

Silver moon, Mother moon
It’s Goddess time in the city.
Circling, hear them sing,
Soon it will be Solstice Day!

LISTEN

Yule Fires

In ancient days the folk of old
When chilled with fright by winter’s cold
Did kindle up a great Yule Fire
With leaping flames in its great pyre

CHORUS

Yule fires light up the night
Yule fires bring us delight
Yule fires call back the Sun
and keep our hearts ever burning!

So to entice the waning Sun
To rise again and wider run
It’s fiery course across the sky
To warm them so they would not die

CHORUS

So we, whose minds now sense a chill
Of anger in the the “evil will”
the human conflict, hate, and strife
Which hold a menace over Life

CHORUS

Would kindle up a flame of love
That we within our hearts may move
in Yuletide joy, with love embrace
And thus abide in peace and grace

CHORUS

LISTEN

 

Share the Light

(Tune: First Noel)

On this Winter holiday,
let us stop and recall
That this season is holy
to one and to all.

Unto some a Son is born,
unto us comes a Sun,
And we know, if they don’t
that all paths are one.

Share the light, share the light!
Share the light, share the Light!
All paths are one on this holy night!

Be it Chanukah or Yule,
Christmas time or Solstice night,
All celebrate the eternal light.

Lighted tree or burning log,
Or eight candle flames.
All gods are one god,
whatever their names.

Share the light, share the light!
Share the light, share the Light!
All paths are one on this holy night!

LISTEN