Samhain (pronounced sow wen) is the Celtic New Year and the most powerful of all the Sabbats. As the new day begins with twilight, so the new year begins with the twilight going into the dark of the year. This is the most between of all times, not only between the growing and the dying, but also between the old and the new, the live and the dead, the light and the dark. It is a time when the earth prepares to rest. The harvest is over, it is now time for the earth to lie fallow and prepare for the next growing season. As the earth lies fallow, so it is time for us to pull away and into ourselves. It is the time for introspection, for inner work, for story- and self-evaluation. It is a good time for divination work. Samhain is also the time we honor those who have died. As the plants have died, as the animals who feed us have died, so have we died. This is the time when we recognize and honor those who have entered their period of rest and renewal from this life in preparation for their next life. We honor our ancestors at this time – those from whom we have come, those who have gone before. Most of the traditions of Halloween can be traced to the customs and beliefs of Samhain. Keridwen, the Hag, stirs her cauldron and change occurs. This is the time of transformation. The Horned God of the wild things walks the earth and the Green Man rests.
We are all saddened by the loss to our community. The Universalist Unitarian Church of East Lansing will be honoring Chris Keith on Sunday 9 December:
The Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty will be having a special time during this Sunday's service at 11:00 for honoring our former members, Chris Keith and Isaac Miller. The Sunday service will feature a holiday children's program for the bulk of the service, based on a Lemony Snicket story. The children will be dismissed from the service, unless parents wish for their children to stay, and then we will have a brief time which will feature a candle-lighting, a time of silence, and a special collection for the memorial fund that has been set up to help support Chris Keith's three surviving children, age 4, 6, and 8. We will have literature on hand about how to talk to children, about tragedy, and other related literature.
Following the service, a trained psychologist will meet as a group with people who wish to process deeper feelings about these tragic deaths.
Next week's service at UUCEL is titled "In the Bleak Midwinter" and focuses on the sadness of the winter season. The service is still being shaped, but may include a section in honor of Chris Keith and Isaac Miller, as well as honoring the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, CT.