Acknowledge the Darkness

Acknowledge the Darkness

Thank you to those of you who sang and played, attended, and assisted behind the scenes in our two big November events—Transgender Day of Resilience and Remembrance and NMIIC Thanksgiving Interfaith Music Celebration. Both events came off beautifully, and if you missed either of them, they are available on our church’s YouTube channel.

For the past 10 or 12 years, we’ve held a Winter Solstice service at the church, complete with altar, candles, and a cappella choir. This year we will host the Winter Solstice Singing Ritual on Zoom—on December 19 at 7:00pm. We will provide the music, narration and poetry, and you will each provide your own candlelight and altar if de-sired. This service is what gets me through the holiday season every year. I love the music, and I love the concept of going into  the darkness—accepting it as a cycle of life—knowing that the sun will return again. There’s a line in one of the poems in the ritual that goes “A year like no other this was…”. Every time we get to that part, I chuckle and say to myself, “You’ve got that right!” Well, this year, it’s even more appropriate, don’t you think? Let’s all gather (virtually) and acknowledge the darkness and leave with some hope in our hearts.

Our Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 7:00 pm will feature lovely music by Susan Shaw on handbells, Amelia Russo-Nuestadt on oboe, a women’s trio with a beautiful new Christmas anthem, a men’s quintet with a traditional carol, and the whole choir on our traditional finale—“Peace, Peace” with “Si-lent Night.”

Lastly, I want to give a big thanks to Steve Morihiro, Barbara Morihiro, and Ginny Chan, who all worked very hard to make our two November events so seamless and beautiful. Barbara and Steve created the candlelight vigil video compilation for Transgender Day of Resilience and Remembrance, plus Steve was the Zoom MC for both events. Ginny was the slideshow operator for both events, plus they both worked the Sunday morning service on that same weekend, too. Thank you so much!

May whatever holidays you celebrate in the next month bring you peace and joy. Especially this year, when everything is turned upside down anyway, it’s a good time to reevaluate what we love about the holiday season, and focus on those things. I hope music is a big part of your holiday season!

Musically Yours,

Beth Syverson, Director of Music Ministries

Beth Syverson is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Director of Music Ministries. She plans and arranges the music for worship on Sunday mornings, provides piano music during services, and directs the Orange Coast Choir. She is also the artistic director of OCUUC’s concert series—Orange Coast Concerts—which features several eclectic concerts throughout the year.