- Church Grounds
Thousands of years ago, humans had only the elements to guide and support their livelihoods. Air, Water, Earth and Fire supported life on our planet. We still depend on these elements for our lives. These people observed how elements changed in the Circle of the Year, and the Circle of Life. The solar changes: equinoxes and solstices. The Agricultural changes: seeding, growth, and harvest.
We celebrate Samhain (Celtic: pronounced Sow in) on October 31. It is an agricultural celebration, the death of the year when the last crops should be harvested from the Earth so the soil may rest and be ready for the seeding in the Spring. There are many practices from our ancestors that we continue today.
The death of the year, we honor the dead in our families. The veil is the thinnest between the world and the afterworld. The ancestors carved out turnips and squashes, put lit candles inside and placed them on their front steps, to guide the dead in their family to their home. They set their dinner tables with a place for their dead ancestors to visit. Today we carve pumpkins and put candles in them and put them on our front steps. Children ask for treats from the houses they visit, as ancestors offered dinner to their dead families. Ghosts are a common decoration, as the ancestors beyond the veil might be. Note also that the Catholic Church celebrates All Souls Day at this time.
We will hold a Samhain ritual at the Fire Circle between Services on Sunday, Nov 3, honoring the four elements, thanking them for supporting our lives and the planet, and celebrating the ancestors who have gone before us.