Unitarian Sunday Reflections

(Hull and Lincoln Unitarians)

18 December 2022




4th Sunday Advent

Carols and Readings

First Evening of Hanukkah




An accordion adaptation of I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen,

by Thomas P Westendorp



A very gracious and Happy 4th Sunday of Advent to you all.

Welcome to this time of reflection, worship and this celebration of Christmas through story and hymn.



Christmas is Waiting to be Born

by Howard Thurman, from The Mood of Christmas, 1973, p21.


Where refugees seek deliverance that never comes,

And the heart consumes itself, if it would live,

Where little children age before their time,

And life wears down the edges of the mind,

Where the old man sits with mind grown cold,

While bones and sinew, blood and cell, go slowly down to death,

Where fear companions each day’s life,

And Perfect Love seems long delayed.



In you, in me, in all humankind.



On this day, what other words need to be said…

we light our chalice for the hope, the joy, the peace and the wonder of this season and all our spiritual considerations and explorations…

we light our chalice for that dawn which is continuously breaking into our lives….


Light the chalice


May our prayer for this day, and everyday be…


O Eternal Thou, 

Great Spirit of the Journey

May you walk with us today

and all the days of our life.





Lincoln: GH 83 Our Festival is here (CD ACH / TK 3)

Hull: Songbook 14 It came upon a Midnight clear



Today we celebrate this Christmas season, and more. We celebrate our siblings in faith, we celebrate the various ways that life and light have shown in our world from history to today, and we expect this to go on into the future. So as we celebrate Christmas we also remember and celebrate Hanukkah, we remember and celebrate Yule, and we listen to various voices as they reflect upon the themes of this time of year…



Celebration of Hanukkah

18 December (evening) to 26 December 2020


Hanukkah Story

by Paul L’Herrou


          Around about 2200 years ago, Palestine was under the rule of the Syrian Empire, which was actually a Greek Empire that was one of four created when Alexander the Great died and his empire was divided up by his generals.


          Judah the Maccabee led a revolt against the Syrians. He led a small band of followers which could not confront the Syrian military in conventional warfare, so he used the unusual tactics of guerrilla warfare and was successful.


          This was a war centred mostly upon a fight for religious freedom. The Jewish Temple had been desecrated. They were being forced to worship Greek gods, and to endure the abomination of having a pig, the most unclean animal for the Jews, sacrificed in the Holy Temple. They were forbidden to follow their religious and national practices that held them to the core of their faith and their faithfulness to G_D.


          When Judah defeated the Syrians and re-entered Jerusalem, he ordered the temple cleansed and rededicated. This involved rekindling the eternal flame. Sacred oil had to be prepared as fuel for the flame. But, it would take eight days to prepare the oil. According to the tradition, a small amount of sacred oil, sufficient for one day, was found hidden in the temple. So they decided better to light it for the one day than none at all, and thus the lamp was kindled, and, miraculously, it continued to burn for eight days — and so Hanukkah candles are kindled for eight nights,


And so we remember Hanukkah today as we light our first candle this evening….


Light Hanukkah candle


A Hanukkah Poem in the Style of Dr. Seuss

by David Stanley


What’s the big deal with those Hanukkah lights?

Why do we burn ‘em for all of those nights?


And why for eight nights, why not for seven?

A gift on each night? Why not for eleven?


Why do we eat latkes and stuff cooked in oil?

It’s messy and spatters when it starts to boil.


And the dreidel is gambling, I thought that was wrong,

But it turns out that we have a real dreidel song!


I like the gelt, more chocolate is fine,

While my parents get schnockered on sweet kosher wine.


Let’s take a moment, and think about this,

‘Cause for kids the world over, Hanukkah’s bliss.


We light the lights to remind us of when

Some nasty non-Jews tried to kill us again.


The Greeks lost the battle. A Maccabee sweep,

But the remains of the Temple lay at the Jews’ feet.


They lit some oil to give thanks to God,

It burned for eight nights, a little bit odd.


Some called it a miracle, the lights all aglow,

And that’s why we’re lit up, eight nights in a row.


The latkes and stuff, golden brown fried in oil,

Are a way to remember the Maccabees toil.


Why the dreidel, you ask? Well, here’s the reason.

The Greeks of the time said that Torah was treason.


They caught you at study, you would be beat,

So Jews kept a dreidel under the sheets.


If soldiers came near, they’d bust out the top

And pretend to gamble, and so dodge the cops.


There’s a story for all that we do in this season,

Tell all your friends that you now know the reason.


Hanukkah; it’s a time to light lights for eight nights.

A time to eat latkes ‘til you can’t eat one more bite.


A time to spin dreidels and eat chocolate gelt.

A time to lay back and loosen your belt.


It’s a gift-giving time. Here! Open a box.

I just hope I don’t get some sox or more lox.



Lincoln: GH 91 It came upon a midnight Clear (CD ACH / TK 9)

Hull: Songbook 32 Holly & the Ivy



Winter Solstice

by S. E. DeHaven


The time of the

Holly King

draws nigh.




in the longest

dark, the King

of Summer




Oak falls before

the red drops

and green thorns.




light a candle

against the dark,

burn a log,


sturdy oak.


Cry tears that

freeze in the

evergreen hands


of thorn

and blood.



Lincoln GH 85 O Little Town of Bethlehem  (CD ACH / TK 5)

Hull Songbook 3 Away in the manger



Infant Jesus: A Retelling of Jesus’ birth from the Quran

Surah 19, “Mariam”: 16-34

by Sarah Conniver & Freda Crane


The Prophet Imran and his wife were blessed to have a child during their old age. In recognition of this miracle and out of thankfulness, they dedicated the child to the service of God while still in her mother’s womb.


The child was born a girl, whom they named Mariam (Mary).


As a girl dedicated to the service of God, she grew up studying and worshiping in the temple, away from the distractions of daily life.


One day, the angel Gabriel appeared to her and said: “I am a messenger from Allah. I am here to announce that you will have a son.”


She answered, “How can I have a son, when no man has ever touched me and I am not an immoral person?”


Gabriel replied, “So it shall be. Your God says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign for humankind and a show of grace to them.’ And this matter has already been decreed.”


With the message delivered, the angel disappeared.


As Miriam’s pregnancy developed, she left the temple for a distant oasis so the people wouldn’t see her pregnant and gossip about her.


When it was time to deliver the baby, the labour pains were very strong and she found herself at the base of a palm tree. The pain became unbearable and she cried out,


“I wish that I had died before this and was unknown and forgotten.”


Then a voice called from under her,


“Do not grieve: Allah has provided a cool stream beneath your feet, and if you shake the palm tree, ripe dates will fall for you. So eat and drink and cool your eyes. And if you see anyone … you shall not speak.”


She named the baby Isa (Jesus).


After she recovered from the birth, she returned to the town from which she had come. When the people saw her, carrying her son in her arms, the said….


“Oh Mariam, you are coming with something unbelievable to us!

Your father wasn’t wicked, and your mother wasn’t immoral!”


Yet Mariam was still not speaking, and she pointed to the baby. The people still incredulous said,


“How can we talk to a baby?”


To their surprise, Jesus spoke in answer to them..


“I am indeed a servant of Allah, who has commanded me to pray, to give alms as long as I live, and to honour my mother…. Peace was upon me the day I was born, and the day I shall die and the day I shall be raised up again.”


Such was Isa, son of Mariam.



Lincoln GH 88 Silent Night  (CD ACH / TK 7)

Hull Songbook 07 God rest ye merry gentlemen




by Jim Rigby


The Christmas story is mythic. By “mythic,” I mean its purpose is not primarily historical, but existential. There is no ONE interpretation of the Christmas story; but, in general, the birth narrative is a teaching symbol about what it means to be human in the cosmos. Because myths are parables about human nature, we should not be surprised to find present day people playing out the roles of the Christmas story without even realising it.


In this year’s Christmas pageant, the role of Herod will be played by every political leader who bashes immigrants, hounds women having difficult pregnancies, or sends terror into parents with transgender children seeking medical care in an effort to consolidate their own power base.


This year, as every year, the role of the Christ child is being played by children born on the margins of human concern. Lost in the struggle between powerful religious and political forces, these tender souls are born shivering in the dark- invisible to the world. Everyone of them is of infinite value, worth more than all the treasures of the world.


The shepherds working out in field will be played by rail workers without sick leave and construction workers in dangerous jobs. Once again this year, it is the humble marginalised, not the honoured insiders, who will hear the angel song.


The role of Mary will be played by all those radical lovers of humankind who keep the flame of hope for universal justice burning. Like Mary, they sing of a day when those who dominate others will be brought down from their thrones, and the oppressed will be lifted up in a revolution of loving justice. (Luke 1:51-53)


The hotel owner will be played by those willing to stop counting money long enough to help someone who needs it.


The role of Joseph will be played by all those who don’t need to personally benefit in order to help others.


The 3 Wise Ones will be played by those willing to leave old certainties to follow wherever today’s truth might lead. They are willing to leave old systems of domination to seek a new age of kindness.


The role of the angels, as always, will be played by those who can hover above religious sects, national boundaries and hierarchies of vested wealth and power to sing a song of peace on earth, good will to ALL.



Solo Andrew Palfreman, The Little Drummer Boy, by Katherine K Davis



A Children’s Story

“A Christmas Dream, and how it came true”

by Louisa May Alcott


“I’m so tired of Christmas I wish there never would be another one!”


Exclaimed a discontented-looking little girl, as she sat idly watching her mother arrange a pile of gifts two days before they were to be given.


“Why, Effie, what a dreadful thing to say! You are as bad as old Scrooge; and I’m afraid something will happen to you, as it did to him, if you don’t care for dear Christmas.”


Answered Mamma, almost dropping the silver horn she was filling with delicious candies.


“Who was Scrooge? What happened to him?”


Asked Effie, with a glimmer of interest in her listless face, as she picks out the sourest lemon-drop she could find; for nothing sweet suited her.


“He was one of Dicken’s best people, and you can read the charming story some day. He hated Christmas until a strange dream showed him how dear and beautiful it was, and made a better man of him.”


“I shall read it; for I like dreams, and have a great many curious ones myself. But they don’t keep me from being tired of Christmas.”


Said Effie, poking discontentedly among the sweeties for something worth eating.


“Why are you tired of what should be the happiest time of all year?”


“Perhaps I shouldn’t be if I had something new. But it is always the same, and there isn’t any more surprise about it. I always find heaps of goodies in my stocking. Don’t like some of them, and soon get tired of those I do like. We always have a great dinner, and I eat too much, and feel ill next day. Then there is a Christmas tree somewhere, with a doll on top, or a stupid old Santa Claus, and children dancing and screaming over bonbons and toys that break, and shiny things that are of no use.


Really, mamma, I’ve had so many Christmases all alike that I don’t think I can bear another one.”


Effie laid herself flat on the sofa, as if the mere idea was too much for her.


He mother laughed at her despair, but was sorry to see her little girl so discontented, when she had everything to make her happy, and had known but ten Christmas Days.


“Suppose we don’t give you any presents at all, how would that suit you?”


“I should like one large and splendid one, and one dear little one, to remember some very nice person by.” 


Said Effie, who was a fanciful little body, full of odd whims and notions…


“So you may give away all my toys, I’m so tired of them I never want to see them again.”


“I will, and let you begin again with something you will not tire of, if I can only find it.”


And mamma knit her brows trying to discover some grand surprise for this child who didn’t care for Christmas.


Effie wandered off to the library where she found “A Christmas Carol.”


Curling herself up in the sofa corner, she read it all before tea. Some of it she did not understand; but she laughed and cried over many parts of the charming story, and felt better without knowing why.


All the evening she thought of poor Tiny Tim, Mrs. Cratchit with the pudding, and the stout old gentleman who danced so gayly that ‘his legs twinkled in the air.’


Presently bedtime arrived…. Her head was full of a curious jumble of Christmas elves, poor children, snow-storms, sugarplums, and surprises. So it is no wonder that she dreamed all night; and this was the dream, which she never quite forgot.


Effie found herself sitting on a stone, in the middle of a great field, all alone. The snow was falling fast, a bitter wind whistled by, and night was coming on. She felt hungry, cold, and tired, and did not know where to go nor what to do.


“I wanted to be a beggar-girl, and now I am one; but I don’t like it, and wish somebody would come and take care of me. I don’t know who I am, and I think I must be lost,” thought Effie, the more she thought about it, the more bewildered she felt. Faster fell the snow, colder blew the wind, darker grew the night; and poor Effie made up her mind that she was quite forgotten and left to freeze alone. The tears were chilled on her cheeks, her feet felt like icicles, and her heart died within her, so hungry, frightened, and forlorn was she. Laying her head on her knees, she gave herself up for lost, when suddenly the sound of music reached her, and starting up, she looked and listened with all her eyes and ears. Far away a dim light shone, and a voice was heard singing. She tried to run toward the welcome glimmer, but could not stir, and stood like a small statue of expectation while the light drew nearer, and the sweet words of the song grew clearer.


From our happy home

Through the world we roam

One week in all the year,

Making winter spring

With the joy we bring,

For Christmas-tide is here.


Now the eastern star

Shines from afar

To light the poorest home;

Hearts warmer grow,

Gifts freely flow,

For Christmas-tide has come.


Now gay trees rise

Before young eyes,

Abloom with tempting cheer;

Blithe voices sing,

And blithe bells ring,

For Christmas-tide is here.


Oh, happy chime,

Oh, blessed time,

That draws us all so near!

“Welcome, dear day,”

All creatures say,

For Christmas-tide is here.


A child’s voice sang, a child’s hand carried the little candle; and in the circle of soft light it shed, coming to her through the night and snow. A rosy, smiling creature, wrapped in white fur, with a wreath of green and scarlet holly on its shining hair, the magic candle in one hand, and the other outstretched as if to shower gifts and warmly press all other hands.


“Dear child, you are lost, and I have come to find you,” said the stranger,


taking Effie’s cold hands in his, with a smile like sunshine, while every holly berry glowed like a little fire.


“Do you know me?”


“I know all children, and go to find them; for this is my holiday, and I gather them from all parts of the world to be merry with me once a year.”


“Are you an angel?”


“No; I am a Christmas spirit, and live with my mates in a pleasant place, getting ready for our holiday, when we are let out to roam about the world, helping make this a happy time for all who will let us in. Will you come and see how we work?”


“I will go anywhere with you. Don’t leave me again,”


“First I will make you comfortable. That is what we love to do. You are cold, and you shall be warm, hungry, and I will feed you; sorrowful, and I will make you gay.”


With a wave of his candle miracles were wrought, for suddenly the dismal field changed to a new world so full of wonders that all her troubles were forgotten in a minute. Bells were ringing so merrily that it was hard to keep from dancing. Green garlands hung on the walls, and every tree was a Christmas tree full of toys, and blazing with candles that never went out. In one place many little spirits sewed like mad on warm clothes, turning off work faster than any sewing-machine ever invented, and great piles were made ready to be sent to poor people.


Older and graver spirits were looking over piles of little books, in which the records of the past year were kept, telling how different people had spent it, and what sort of gifts they deserved. Some got peace, some disappointment, some remorse and sorrow, some great joy and hope. The rich had generous thoughts sent them; the poor, gratitude and contentment. Children had more love and duty to parents; and parents renewed patience, wisdom, and satisfaction for and in their children. No one was forgotten.


“Please tell me what splendid place this is?” asked Effie.


“This is the Christmas world; and here we work all the year round, never tired of getting ready for the happy day. See, these are the saints just setting off; for some have far to go, and the children must not be disappointed.”


As he spoke the spirit pointed to four gates, out of which four great sleighs were just driving, laden with toys, while a jolly old Santa Claus sat in the middle of each, drawing on his mittens and tucking up his wraps for a long cold drive.


“Why, I thought there was only one Santa Claus, and even he was a humbug,” cried Effie, astonished at the sight.


“Never give up your faith in the sweet old stones, even after you come to see that they are only the pleasant shadow of a lovely truth.”


Just then the sleighs went off with a great jingling of bells and pattering of reindeer hoofs, while all the spirits gave a cheer that was heard in the lower world, where people said, “Hear the stars sing.”


“I never will say there isn’t any Santa Claus again. Now, show me more.”


“You will like to see this place, I think, and may learn something here perhaps”


The spirit smiled as he led the way to a little door, through which Effie peeped into a world of dolls. Baby-houses were in full blast, with dolls of all sorts going on like live people. Shops were there, and tiny people buying legs of mutton, pounds of tea, mites of clothes, and everything dolls use or wear or want. But presently she saw that in some ways the dolls improved upon the manners and customs of human beings, and she watched eagerly to learn why they did these things.


A fine Paris doll driving in her carriage took up a black worsted Dinah who was hobbling along with a basket of clean clothes, and carried her to her journey’s end, as if it were the proper thing to do. Another interesting china lady took off her comfortable red cloak and put it round a poor wooden creature done up in a paper shift, and so badly painted that its face would have sent some babies into fits.


“Seems to me I once knew a rich girl who didn’t give her things to poor girls. I wish I could remember who she was, and tell her to be as kind as that china doll,” said Effie, much touched at the sweet way the pretty creature wrapped up the poor fright, and then ran off in her little gray gown to buy a shiny fowl stuck on a wooden platter for her invalid mother’s dinner.


“We recall these things to people’s minds by dreams. I think the girl you speak of won’t forget this one.” And the spirit smiled…


“Now, show me something else,” she said, as they came again to the low door that led out of Doll-land.


 “You have seen how we prepare for Christmas; let me show you where we love best to send our good and happy gifts, you have never seen what I will show you. Come away, and remember what you see to-night.”


Like a flash that bright world vanished, and Effie found herself in a part of the city she had never seen before. It was far away from the gayer places, where every store was brilliant with lights and full of pretty things, and every house wore a festival air, while people hurried to and fro with merry greetings. It was down among the dingy streets where the poor lived, and where there was no making ready for Christmas. Hungry women looked in at the shabby shops, longing to buy meat and bread, but empty pockets forbade. Tipsy men drank up their wages in the bar- rooms; and in many cold dark chambers little children huddled under the thin blankets, trying to forget their misery in sleep. No nice dinners filled the air with savoury smells, no gay trees dropped toys and bonbons into eager hands, no little stockings hung in rows beside the chimney-piece ready to be filled, no happy sounds of music, gay voices, and dancing feet were heard; and there were no signs of Christmas anywhere.


“Don’t they have any in this place?” asked Effie, shivering, as she held fast the spirit’s hand, following where he led her.


“We come to bring it. Let me show you our best workers.”


And the spirit pointed to some sweet-faced men and women who came stealing into the poor houses, working such beautiful miracles that Effie could only stand and watch.


Effie held her breath to watch these human fairies hang up and fill the little stockings without which a child’s Christmas is not perfect, putting in things that once she would have thought very humble presents, but which now seemed beautiful and precious because these poor babies had nothing.


“That is so beautiful! I wish I could make merry Christmases as these good people do, and be loved and thanked as they are,” …said Effie, softly, as she watched the busy men and women do their work and steal away without thinking of any reward but their own satisfaction.


“You can if you will. I have shown you the way. Try it, and see how happy your own holiday will be hereafter.”


As he spoke, the spirit seemed to put his arms about her, and vanished with a kiss.


“Darling, wake up, and tell me why you are smiling in your sleep,” said a voice in her ear; and opening her eyes, there was mamma bending over her, and morning sunshine streaming into the room.


“You have been dreaming at a great rate,–talking in your sleep, laughing, and clapping your hands as if you were cheering some one. Tell me what was so splendid,” said mamma.


While she was being dressed, Effie told her dream, and Nursey thought it very wonderful; but mamma smiled to see how curiously things the child had thought, read, heard, and seen through the day were mixed up in her sleep.


“The spirit said I could work lovely miracles if I tried; but I don’t know how to begin, for I have no magic candle to make feasts appear, and light up groves of Christmas trees, as he did,” said Effie, sorrowfully.


“Yes, you have. We will do it! we will do it!” And clapping her hands, mamma suddenly began to dance all over the room as if she had lost her wits.


“How? how? You must tell me, mamma,” cried Effie, dancing after her, and ready to believe anything possible when she remembered the adventures of the past night.


“I’ve got it! I’ve got it!–the new idea. A splendid one, if I can only carry it out!” And mamma waltzed the little girl round till her curls flew wildly in the air.


“Tell me! tell me!” shrieked Effie.


“No, no; it is a surprise,–a grand surprise for Christmas day!” sung mamma, evidently charmed with her happy thought. “Now, come to breakfast; for we must work like bees if we want to play spirits tomorrow.”


The next day was a very strange one; for when she woke there was no stocking to examine, no pile of gifts under her napkin, no one said “Merry Christmas!”


When the longed-for hour arrived at last, and the child was too excited to ask questions when Nurse put on her cloak and hood, led her to the carriage, and they drove away, leaving their house the one dark and silent one in the row.


They drove into a dark yard, and Effie was led through a back door to a little room, where Nurse coolly proceeded to take off not only her cloak and hood, but her dress and shoes also.


Effie stared and bit her lips, but kept still until the Nurse brought out a little white fur coat and boots, a wreath of holly leaves and berries, and a candle with a frill of gold paper round it.


A long “Oh!” escaped her then; and when she was dressed and saw herself in the glass, she started back, exclaiming, “Why, Nursey, I look like the spirit in my dream!”


“So you do; and that’s the part you are to play, my pretty!”


Nurse led Effie up some steps, and placed her on a high platform, where something like leaves touched her head, and the soft snap of lamps seemed to fill the air.


Music began as soon as Nurse clapped her hands, the voices outside sounded nearer, and the tramp was evidently coming up the stairs.


“Now, my precious, look and see how you and your dear ma have made a merry Christmas for them that needed it!”


Effie really did think she was asleep again, for she actually stood in “a grove of Christmas trees,” all gay and shining as in her vision.


Twelve on a side, in two rows down the room, stood the little pines, each on its low table; and behind Effie a taller one rose to the roof, hung with wreaths of popcorn, apples, oranges, horns of candy, and cakes of all sorts, from sugary hearts to gingerbread Jumbos.


On the smaller trees she saw many of her own discarded toys and those Nursey bought, as well as heaps that seemed to have rained down straight from that delightful Christmas country where she felt as if she was again.


Then the doors at the lower end flew open, and in marched twenty-four little blue-gowned orphan girls, singing sweetly, until amazement changed the song to cries of joy and wonder as the shining spectacle appeared. While they stood staring with round eyes at the wilderness of pretty things about them, mamma stepped up beside Effie, and holding her hand fast to give her courage, told the story of the dream in a few simple words, ending in this way:–


“So my little girl wanted to be a Christmas spirit too, and make this a happy day for those who had not as many pleasures and comforts as she has. She likes surprises, and we planned this for you all. She shall play the good fairy, and give each of you something from this tree, after which every one will find her own name on a small tree, and can go to enjoy it in her own way. March by, my dears, and let us fill your hands.”


One by one they came to look up wonderingly at the pretty giver of the feast as she leaned down to offer them great yellow oranges, red apples, bunches of grapes, bonbons, and cakes, till all were gone, and a double row of smiling faces turned toward her as the children filed back to their places in the orderly way they had been taught.


Then each was led to her own tree by the good ladies who had helped mamma with all their hearts; and the happy hubbub that arose would have satisfied even Santa Claus himself,


–shrieks of joy, dances of delight, laughter and tears (for some tender little things could not bear so much pleasure at once, and sobbed with mouths full of candy and hands full of toys).


How they ran to show one another the new treasures! how they peeped and tasted, pulled and pinched, until the air was full of queer noises, the floor covered with papers, and the little trees left bare of all but candles!


“I don’t think heaven can be any gooder than this,” sighed one small girl.


“Is that a truly angel up there?” asked another.


“I wish I dared to go and kiss her for this splendid party,” said a lame child, leaning on her crutch, as she stood near the steps, wondering how it seemed to sit in a mother’s lap, as Effie was doing, while she watched the happy scene before her.


Effie heard her, and remembering Tiny Tim, ran down and put her arms about the pale child, kissing the wistful face, as she said sweetly,


“You may; but mamma deserves the thanks. She did it all; I only dreamed about it.”


Little Katy felt as if “a truly angel” was embracing her, and could only stammer out her thanks.


The ladies found it hard to break up the happy revel; but it was late for small people, and too much fun is a mistake.


So the girls fell into line, and marched before Effie and mamma again, to say goodnight with such grateful little faces that the eyes of those who looked grew dim with tears. Mamma kissed every one; and many a hungry childish heart felt as if the touch of those tender lips was their best gift.


Effie shook so many small hands that her own tingled; and when Katy came she pressed a small doll into Effie’s hand, whispering,


“You didn’t have a single present, and we had lots. Do keep that; it’s the prettiest thing I got.”


“I will,” answered Effie, and held it fast until the last smiling face was gone, the surprise all over, and she safe in her own bed, too tired and happy for anything but sleep.


“Mamma, it was a beautiful surprise, and I thank you so much! I don’t see how you did it; but I like it best of all the Christmases I ever had, and mean to make one every year. I had my splendid big present, and here is the dear little one to keep for love of poor Katy; so even that part of my wish came true.”


Effie fell asleep with a happy smile on her lips, her one humble gift still in her hand, and a new love for Christmas in her heart that never changed through a long life spent in doing good.



Lincoln GH 87 Bleak Midwinter  (CD ACH / TK 6)

Hull Songbook 13 Bleak Mid-winter



words by John Philip Carter

Spirit of life, love, light and liberation…


Mover of hope,

Bringer of inspiration.

Touch of joyful remembrance….


We look to our history,

We can celebrate good events

We can mourn sad even harmful events


In all of this we see life growing, love moving to compassion, joy steadying us for us to become a living blessing.


In this season of Advent, and now especially during this season of Hanukkah, and the upcoming season of Christmas, we are called to remember all these things, to see, to learn, to understand and to gracefully move on in our living.


May we be graceful and compassionate in our responses to daily pressures.

May we be compassionate and kind to those who seek to harm us by their actions, deliberate or accidental…

May we embody that deep sense of connection, community, relationship… with all we meet, be they stranger, enemy or friend, or family.


May we be a light to our world, a beacon of hope, gratitude and justice in our days, as we walk gently with all life upon our home, this glorious planet we call earth.





Housekeeping here is that our collection is a retiring one, there is a plate for you to give as you are able, remembering all our gifts, talent, time, and financial are given for the good of creation from our gratitude.


My thanks to Graziana Presicce, and to Andrew Palfreman for the music tonight.


Following our service you are most welcome to join us for a cuppa, and conversation.



Lincoln GH 94 I heard the bells on  (CD ACH / TK12)

Hull Songbook 12 I heard the Bells on Christmas



by Howard Thurman, from The Mood of Christmas, 1973,p23.


When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:


To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among brothers,

To make music in the heart.



Maigret Theme accordion solo

The Digest - YUU Blog