STJ#1037, We Begin Again in Love

For some people, Christmas is nothing but joyful – everything goes well, the right people are in the room, the right presents are under the tree, the right food is on the table, the right music is in the air.

For others of us, Christmas is more complex. We’re not where we want to be or who we want to be with, gifts are too little or too callous, we are struggling in any number of ways, or there are difficult relationships that will likely result in difficult moments.

I wonder, with Rob Eller-Isaacs “Litany of Atonement” set to music as the hymn today, if it might not be more helpful to go in to the day’s celebrations with a spirit of forgiveness instead of an expectation of dread. What happens when we begin our possibly fraught Christmasses with forgiveness and love?

[spoken] For remaining silent when a single voice would have made a difference …

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

[spoken] For each time that our fears have made us rigid and inaccessible …

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

[spoken] For each time that we have struck out in anger without just cause …

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

[spoken] For each time that our greed has blinded us to the needs of others…

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

[spoken] For the selfishness which sets us apart and alone…

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

[spoken] For falling short of the admonitions of the spirit…

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

[spoken] For losing sight of our unity…

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

[spoken] For those and for so many acts both evident and subtle which have fueled the illusion of separateness…

We forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

It never would have dawned on me to sing this to myself on Christmas morning – except here it was when I opened the hymnal today, and I realized that I was already bracing for what could be some frustrating moments later today. Singing/speaking this to myself helped. I realized how much anxiety I was holding and was able to breathe it out a bit. How long it lasts, I can’t say. But I can say that in this moment, with the day of celebration ahead, I feel better about what will come, and maybe I can at last find some of that Christmas spirit.

For this gift – a beautiful sung response with gorgeous accompaniment by Les Kleen to a rich and meaningful litany – I give great thanks.

Merry Christmas, one and all.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply