Luminescence: Hearing a Story New

A Note from Reverend Nancy for March 1, 2024

This Sunday’s service marks my first Luminescence celebration! In fact, I hadn’t even heard of this relatively new Unitarian Universalist seasonal holiday until I started getting to know you, dear Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett.

What a joy, then, to dive into the meaning and the symbols of this ritual for the first time! Luminescence invites us to connect once again with that Source, that Something More, that lies closest to our own hearts, to our own meaning making, whatever name or names we may use for it, sacred and secular alike. It reminds us that there is something unique and beautiful and infinitely worthy that lives in each of us and that we have to offer to the world.

Luminescence calls this something-within-us our Light. The ritual uses the imagery of candles, mirror, prism, and magnifying lens to reflect on (see what I did there?) the many ways our Light takes form, transforms, and can be shared with others. We celebrate this holiday near the Spring Equinox in our hemisphere because of the changing balance of light and dark in our days.

And this is where the imagery expands for me. There’s an intertwining of light and dark, and the full spectrum between them, that is essential for all life, and essential for this precious something-within-us too. Like all things, we human beings need both shining light and fertile darkness in order to grow, just as we need both notes and rests, silence and song in order to make music.

So this Sunday our celebration of Luminescence follows the story of our spiritual journey, fueled by both light and dark. It’s a story about how we sometimes feel cut off from all that matters, disconnected and alone. And it’s a story about how we find our way back into connection, into hope and strength, beauty and joy. It’s a story of our seeking that Source, that something-within-and-beyond-us, our “search for truth and meaning” that we hold so dear. Please do join us on the journey!

With Love at the center,
Rev. Nancy