Summer Solstice Prayer

Jesus, thank you for Summer. Thank you for light and warmth. Thank you for the sun. Thank you too that while we can appreciate the gifts of nature, we are not subject to living our lives within the limits of cycles and seasons. We can rise above and beyond all natural limits by faith in you. Today, give us that grace again, to see you as the Creator of creation and the One who lifts us up to be with you forever, even now. In Jesus!”

Celebrating the solstice may be an ancient practice, but it is still commonplace in Scandinavia, where Midsummer Festivals are considered as important as Christmas. It is always marked with some form of fire ritual because of a reverence for the Sun and it’s transformative and purifying abilities. Bonfires are lit as the sun sets, as people dance around the fire clockwise and hold torchlight processions. In some places, people set fire to wheels of hay which are rolled downhill. The use of fires, as well as providing magical aid to the sun, were also considered by our ancestors to drive out evil and to bring fertility and prosperity to men, crops, and herds. The photo left shows revelers in Sweden leaping through the flames as a purifying and strengthening rite.