Christmas Eve: A Circle of Quiet

By Jan Richardson

A Circle of Quiet © Jan L. Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Christmas Eve, Years ABC: Luke 2.1-14 (15-20)

We draw close to the end of the season, and I find myself with fewer and fewer words. Divested of them as December wanes. These are days for gathering in, gathering up, gathering together the pieces as this year of Big Events draws to a close. Stealing moments for recollection and remembrance.

Standing now on this side of the passages that these past twelve months have held, I think of Mary, at the ending of the birthing and bringing forth:

after the angel
and let it be,
after Elizabeth
and blessed is she,
after angels
and shepherds
and alleluias:


But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart, Luke tells us in the Gospel lection for Christmas Eve.

And so I am keeping quiet this night. Pondering. Treasuring. Gathering up the year nearly gone.

What are you treasuring as we make ready to cross into Christmas?


And so we take the ragged fragments,

the patches of darkness
that give shape to the light;
the scraps of desires
unslaked or realized;
the memories of spaces
of blessing, of pain.

And so we gather the scattered pieces

the hopes we carry
fractured or whole;
the struggles of birthing
exhausted, elated;
the places of welcome
that bring healing and life.

And so we lay them at the threshold, God;

bid you hold them, bless them, use them;
ask you tend them, mend them,
transform them
to keep us warm,
make us whole,
and send us forth.

Prayer from Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas © Jan L. Richardson.

For previous reflections on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, see this post.

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2 Responses to “Christmas Eve: A Circle of Quiet”

  1. Carolyn Says:

    And so it seems I must have read this prayer a dozen times before, but the resonance today is palpable; and I am grateful.

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