New Years 2021: Poetry and song for the coming year.


A New Year’s Poem — Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rimes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

A Blessing Jan Richardson

Think of the year
as a house:
door flung wide
in welcome,
threshold swept
and waiting,
a graced spaciousness
opening and offering itself
to you.

Let it be blessed
in every room.
Let it be hallowed
in every corner.
Let every nook
be a refuge
and every object
set to holy use.

Let it be here
that safety will rest.
Let it be here
that health will make its home.
Let it be here
that peace will show its face.
Let it be here
that love will find its way.

let the weary come
let the aching come
let the lost come
let the sorrowing come.

let them find their rest
and let them find their soothing
and let them find their place
and let them find their delight.

And may it be
in this house of a year
that the seasons will spin in beauty,
and may it be
in these turning days
that time will spiral with joy.
And may it be
that its rooms will fill
with ordinary grace
and light spill from every window
to welcome the stranger home.

—  Jan Richardson  ©

Beannacht (New Year blessing) – John O’Donohue

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

SUN, Dec 27

    8am •  Zoom link: available by contacting church:
    Gather for poetry & literature, prayer, conversation.
  • CAROL SING (zoom only)
    10am • Zoom link: available by contacting church:
    Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866. Zoom info available by contacting church:
    10:30am •  Zoom link: available by contacting church:
    Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866. Zoom info available by contacting church:
    Join us for worship with music, scripture, prayer and reflection.
    • Stay for virtual coffee hour (via Zoom only).
    • In-person attendance requires masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing in the sanctuary.
    • Service will also be live-streamed to website and Facebook (if technology supports this function on the day of event). Afterward, recordings of worship service will be posted to channel & channel.
    Noon • Jackson Community Church
    5pm • Zoom info available by contacting church:
    Bring a new gift or a white elephant ‘discovery’  — wrapped for fun — and valued about $10 (or priceless) to swap. This will be a social gathering. If you live far away and you win something, we’ll mail it to you! Everyone can play! All welcome.

Christmas Morning – Offering a poem by Jan Richardson

Blessing That Meets You in Love — Jan Richardson

It is true that / every blessing begins / with love,
that whatever else / it might say,
love is always / precisely its point.

But it should be noted / that this blessing
has come today / especially to tell you
it is crazy about you.

That it has been / in love with you / forever.

That it has never / not wanted / to see your face,
to go through this world / in your company.

This blessing thought / it was high time
it told you so, just to make sure / you know.

If it has been shy / in saying this,
it has not been / for any lack of / wanting to.

It’s just that / this blessing / knows the risk
of offering itself / in a way that / will so alter you—

not because it thinks / you could stand / some improving,
but because this is / simply where / loving leads.

This blessing knows / how love undoes us,
unhinges us, unhides us.

It knows / how loving
can sometimes feel / like dying.

But today / this blessing / has come to tell you / the secret
that sends it / to your door:
that it gives itself / only to those / willing to come alive;
that it vows itself / only to those
ready to be / born anew.

Scroll to top