Burning of the Christmas Greens!

Celebrating light against darkness.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond celebrated Christmas in grand style! The halls were decked with trees, wreaths and twinkling lights, and live greenery outside extended the festive décor. We closed the season on Epiphany with the “Burning of the Christmas Greens,” an ancient and less-known tradition where holiday greens are burnt as a symbol of Christ’s Light taking away the sins of the world.

Officiating at the Westminster Canterbury tradition, Rev. Dr. Lynn McClintock reminded the gathering that burning the greens symbolized Christ lifting the burden of sin from us and restoring us to new life as a forgiven people. Living as a forgiven people, we live as people grounded in hope—hope that the light dwelling among us will shine new life to the darkness in the world.

Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25 until the morning of January 6, which is the Twelfth Day. In some cultures it is an occasion for feasting, including the baking of a special King’s Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany (a King’s Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA). Candles are also often burned on Epiphany to remind us of the coming of Christ, the “Light of the World.”

Fire is a very ancient symbol, because it represents destroying the old and bringing in the new. We invite you to leave 2015 behind and own the present moment. Cheers to a New Year, new beginning and new inspiration.

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