Playlist for the Wheel of the Year: Winter Solstice

Over the years, I have created rituals to celebrate the Wheel of the Year with my wife and children. Music has been an essential part of the experience. Without it, it would be much more difficult to create the sense of sacred time and space and to evoke the experience I desire for each ritual. So I want to share with you my playlist for each station on the Wheel of Year. Here’s the last list. Enjoy! And share your suggestions in the comments below.

Winter Solstice / Yule

Mythologically, at Yule, the Holly King, representing dark­ness, still reigns, but he begins his decline, as the Oak King, repre­senting light, begins his ascent. The Goddess returns from the Underworld. She travails and bears her Son, the Sun Child. The Goddess’ ascent from the tomb mirrors the coming forth of the Sun Child from the darkness of her womb. The Goddess then takes on her Crone (old woman) aspect, for a season of re­pose.

“Solstice Prayer” chant by Thorn Coyle

We wait in the dark for the light to appear,
Mother, give birth to our brother the Sun.
We wait in the dark for the light to appear,
Mother, give birth to our brother the Sun!
We wait. We watch.
Out of the cold comes the promise of newness.
We wait. We watch.
Out of the cold comes the promise of day!

“Winter Solstice Chant” by Phillip Palmer (UU Hymn 1063)

Child – ren of the Earth, _____
we have come to sing to each oth – er,
Sist – er to Broth – er,
songs of our Moth – er Earth.

Children of the Earth _____
Autumn soon will breathe her last breath and
quick will hear death bear
witness to Winter’s Birth.

Children of the Earth _____
can you feel the air getting cold as
darkness takes hold and
sleep covers Mother Earth?

Children of the Earth _____
we have come to sit in the dakrness,
breathe in the silence,
think of our Mother Earth.

“Pagan Silent Night” (UU Hymn 251) adapted by Ellen Reed

Si – lent night, Sol – stice Night
All is calm, gone is light
Na- ture slum – bers in for – est and glen
Till in Spring – time She wakens a – gain
Sleep – ing spir – its grow strong!
Sleep – ing spir – its grow strong!

Si – lent night, Sol – stice Night
Sil – ver moon shin – ing bright
Snow – fall blank – ets the slum – ber – ing Earth
Yule fires wel – come the Sun’s re – birth
Hark, the Light is re – born!
Hark, the Light is re – born!

Si – lent night, Sol – stice Night
Qui – et rest till the Light
Turn – ing ev – er the roll – ing Wheel
Brings the win – ter to com – fort and heal
Rest your spir – it in peace!
Rest your spir – it in peace!

“Pagan Joy to the World” (UU Hymn 245) (adapted)

Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
Let Earth re- ceive her king!
Let e – very heart pre – pare them room
And Heaven and Na – ture sing,
And Heaven and Na – ture sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and Na – ture sing.

Wel – come our King who brings us life.
Our La- dy gives him birth!
His liv – ing light warms the seeds,
And wakes the sleep – ing earth,
And wakes the sleep – ing earth,
And wakes, and wakes the sleep – ing earth.

We light the fire to greet the Son,
Our Light! Our Life! Our King!
Let e – very voice sing his praise,
As Heaven and Na – ture sing,
As Heaven and Na – ture sing,
As Heaven, as Heaven and Na – ture sing.

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