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Sermons from First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington Massachusetts

Dec 11, 2023

Worship service given December 8, 2023
Prayer by Rev. Erica Richmond, Parish Minister

First Parish
A liberal religious community, welcoming to all
First gathered 1739

About the service: For the 14th year at First Parish we offer a special evening worship service during the holiday season, a worship service to “Embrace the Darkness.”  UUlations will sing and guest pianist Anna Arazi will offer music.  This service will be an opportunity to acknowledge the darkness that surrounds the light of this festive season.   This  contemplative service of solace is a reminder that our sorrows matter and that we are not alone.

Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Years are thought to be jolly, merry and happy.  And sometimes they are.  We are reunited with loved ones.  We sing.  We pull out decorations bringing us memories of other good times flood us with delight.  We linger over sumptuous meals.  We give and receive gifts which remind us we are known and understood.  

Other times the holidays remind us of who or what isn’t at the table.  We feel keenly a death or an estrangement. Love lost, health lost, job loss may feel more present than joy.  We are aware of the poignancy of changes felt or soon to come: children growing older or elders who will not be long with us.  This poignancy is part of “Embracing the Darkness.”  Many say this worship service  is their favorite of the year.  All are welcome.