Winter Solstice - The Longest Night of the Year
The Longest Night observance happens on December 21st, the winter solstice this year (the longest night of the calendar year). Following this date, daylight seems to be returning for more and more of each day.
On this day, we remember those for whom the holidays are not joyful. With the COVID pandemic continuing, people are experiencing depression and sadness and yet are often compelled put on a 'happy face' for others, denying their true feelings.
During the afternoon, an outdoor, self-guided, prayer Labyrinth will be set up at the top parking area next to the Sanctuary. (Please wear masks and stay respectfully socially distant from any others who may happen to be walking the Labyrinth before you.)
You are invited to come experience a time of peace, quietness, solitude and meditation as you walk the guided pathway. There will be places to pause, reflect and ponder God's word, the beauty of nature and our place in both. There is no pressure to walk at any given speed... it is the journey that is important. You cannot get lost, as this is not a maze. Simply enter at the beginning and the way will be clearly marked. Any necessary additional instructions will be provided.
The Afternoon Labyrinth Journey:
The first part of the journey... we enter the Labyrinth. We are sojourners. We come as we are, entering with your cares, concerns, fears and burdens of life. As you walk toward the center, you have time to acknowledge each burden you may feel in that moment. Take your time, it is not a race.
At the center of the Labyrinth, we pause to reflect on our Anticipation of new things, new hope and new life as we consider the Advent of Christ. What does that mean for us, for our situation, for our world? When ready, simply begin walking the next part of the path toward the leaving place.
Now on this final part of the journey, we envision the Christ walking with us - Emmanuel, God With Us. As you walk, release each of your cares and concerns, one by one, into Christ's care. As you give up each one, consider that Christ offers to you his new hope and peace. Won't you take them?
7:00 pm Luminary Lit Longest Night Service
Join us at 7:00 pm on Monday, December 21st, for a reflective Longest Night Vigil Service with readings, prayers and reflections. During our time of Vigil, we look toward the coming Light of Christ. There will be times of reflective silence and times to pray for the world, our community and for others and ourselves.
The Longest Night is a witness that the Christ child comes as a sign of hope in the face of despair. And it’s a witness that Oceanview church is intentional about upholding members of the community in whatever season of life they may find themselves.
Come find peace. Come find hope. Come find light on The Longest Night.