Friday, December 24, 2010

Reflections on Christmas Eve

This is my first Christmas since leaving Christianity and it's not been without some angst.  I've found myself nostalgic for the pomp and ceremony of Christmas Eve services at St. Mark's.  Oddly, there is no other church I feel nostalgic toward but in the Episcopal Church I found the ritual and sense of spirituality I thought I had been looking for all my life.  Except I didn't believe anymore.  I still feel a bit cheated that I finally found the manner in which I could worship Christ and lost the ability to do so.

I have pondered of late returning to St. Mark's as an unbeliever who participates in a ritual that far outdates Christianity anyway.  I won't do anything during the holidays because I suspect this is a whim based on lost memories but I have been missing the people there.  I'll postpone the decision until long after the holidays.  Likely the urge will disappear the first time the alarm goes off to wake me up early to attend.  If not, then I'll just wing it.

I hesitate about going back for a number of reasons.  One being that if I do go back and find that I just can't do it anymore, then I'll be leaving again and have to go through the process of saying good-bye again.  Another reason is that there will be the inevitable questions about where I've been and where Zach is. He won't go back and I won't ask him to.  I get tired of trying to field personal questions.

On the other hand, I am lonely.  I miss having people in my life to do things with, even if only for an hour or so a week.  I am pretty sure that the solitary path is perfect for me spiritually but I am isolated enough as it is and could use some community.

One huge drawback is Tom.  He never liked us going to that church (it being nearly Catholic) and he has told me he didn't like me much as a Christian so it really impairs my ability to make a decision when I've got a good idea that one choice will bring discord into the home.  On the other hand, it's my spirituality and since he apparently only exercises his when it's convenient, I shouldn't let him interfere in my decision making.

One thing I know is that I am called to Paganism in a way I was never called to Christianity.  I am still very new to it and don't have the familiarity with it that I do with Christianity, but I do have the connection with Paganism that I don't feel with Christianity.  Within Christianity it was a struggle to keep my thoughts constantly on God as I was supposed to do.  In Paganism, it comes naturally to me to think of this God or that Goddess in the course of my activities, in a natural way.  I frequently commune with the Goddess (whichever one is beckoning me at the time) as I would talk to my mother or a dear friend.

I suspect this is all about being wistfully nostalgic because I have no desire to go back to that way of life.  I just miss the rituals now and then.  And the people.  Although I would wager that more than a few of them would distance themselves from me should they find out I no longer believe.

Ah, well.  These are the things I'm  pondering today but tomorrow it will be about the presents!!!!  I'm shameless, I know but it's not about me's about watching my loved ones receive.  That's the best thing for me.

Have a Happy Christmas however your celebrate it.


  1. Is there a Unitarian Universalist church in your area? The UUs are a non-Christian church that respect diversity and the spiritual search. It's a fabulous alternative if you want to attend a church and have the benefit of fellowship. I've been involved with them in the past and recommend the UUs very highly.

    Christmas blessings to you and your family.

  2. Debra wrote exactly what I was thinking about the UU Church. Also, any local covens?

  3. Happy Christmas to you as well, Kathy. There are many stages of mourning those things that we lose in our lives. I can really relate. I hope you and Tom and Zach have a great holiday together full of love.

  4. Debra and DM, I would love to try a UU church but the nearest one is an hour away and I had trouble getting up early enough for the church a half hour away.

    No covens in our area either. Nothing in our vicinity. We're in the Bible bracelet of Wisconsin. Our county is ripe with fundies and Catholics. I'm on an email group with the Madison Pagans but it's just too far away to really get together with them. Especially in this weather.

    I love the suggestions though.

    Happy Holidays to you both!!

  5. Tana, I suspect you're right that I'm still mourning what I lost even if I threw it away myself. Plus the holidays always make you think of family and they were the closest I had for a while.

    I'll most likely be fine once the festivities are over and I'm back to my routine. Maybe I can look at volunteering at the library or something so I can get to know people outside my home and Tom's family.

    We're going to open one gift tonight because the boys are driving me nuts. LOL Happy Christmas!!!