Sunday 21 December 2008

Order of Solstice

Today we celebrate the end - and yet the beginning - of the Beaker year.
Sunset tonight is 15.54. Please be there sharp. This isn't one of those occasions when you can turn up late and wait for the worship to "warm up". Except given we'll be lighting the Solstice Fire that's exactly what the worship will be doing.

Winter Solstice Sunset

Hi-viz: Violet

The Gathering In Apprehension


"Raise your banners high
Don't die, Sun - don't die!" (repeat 12 times, in growing despair)

Looking to the East in Silence

All: "Is that the sun down there or is it just the floodlights from the Amazon warehouse?"

The Archdruid remembers that the sun sets in the west.

Looking to the West in Silence.

At the precise time of sunset, the Solstice Fire is lit from the eternal flame. An appropriate song (for example, "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles) may be played.*

"Let the flames burn high
Goodbye, Sun - Goodbye!" (repeat 12 times, growing gradually sadder)

As it grows darker, panic may spread among the congregation. The Gibbon Moon folk, generally of an excitable nature, lose it completely and run into the fields, howling with fear.

Archdruid: Darkness falls and the night is with us. The year is dead.

Young, keen and generally stupid Beaker Folk may leap over the Solstice Fire, in an age-old and traditional ritual. Those whose hi-viz vests catch fire are doused with water from the Safety

The lighting of the Bling

Archdruid: OK, Hnaef - flick the switch

The Orchard is illuminated with the light of a thousand suns, as Santas, Snowmen, Inflatable Alan Carrs, flashing lights, Singing Ringing Tree, dancing penguins, a sleigh and about a million blue LED icicles blaze into view. The congregation may go "Aaah".

The Dismissal

All: Great - can we go now? Arsenal-Liverpool just kicked off.

Archdruid: Fine by me. Got a busy week ahead. See you tomorrow at dawn?

All: Yeah. Let's hope the Sun rises...

Archruid: I'm sure it will. Let's face it, that's why we lit the fire.

Note - Can somebody please bring a lighter? It would appear the Eternal Flame has gone out.

* Not the Atomic Kitten version. We may be neo-pagans but we're not barbarians.


  1. Glad to see that you have banned the Atomic Kitten version- there are limits after all!

  2. The Archdruid has sold out to the Church of England, it would seem. You use red for liturgical instructions just like "Common Worship".

    On the other hand, at least your liturgies aren't dull (not that I am implying that CW is dull: would I dare to say that? No, never!).

  3. Your liturgical committee might want to know that, in late December, the sun sets in the south-west. West is the equinox. Sorry to rain on your fire.

    And Merry Christmas to you all.

  4. Liturgical East is always a conventional direction, whether in Beaker ceremonial or the Church of England...


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