Longest Night 2018

yule-2017-candle-altarInterfaith Celebration of the Winter Solstice
Wednesday December 19, 2018
Doors open at 6:30 PM / Event at 7:00 PM

Gates of Heaven Building
302 East Gorham Street
Madison, Wisconsin

Please plan to arrive early in order to find parking and enjoy community time. Parking is extremely limited, and the event will begin promptly.

In an effort to strengthen interfaith relationships we are offering a multi-cultural program of pageant, song, and story for the winter-time holidays.



  • Rev. Selena Fox will be offering reflections on Yuletide across cultures and spiritual traditions, as well as closing out the evening with a candlelight meditation for world peace.  
  • Chip Brown will be performing a blessing for the season, in Lenape, wearing traditional indigenous regalia. The Lenape are indigenous to the Delaware region of the US and Canada.
  • The children of our community, led by Florence Edwards-Miller, will perform two stories. The first, a traditional Celtic story of the Hunting of the Wren, has a community participation piece and will be accompanied by Chris Eldridge on flute. The second, the tale of the Roman goddess Lucina, will have an opportunity for community caroling.
  • Nancy Vedder-Shults will present a traditional story and song, accompanied by Chris Eldridge on flute.
  • Lori Skelton will bring our attention to the introspection of this time of year, through a focus on stillness.
  • Cecilia Farran will be performing a spoken word piece about creation being born in the darkness, titled Goddess Is Born (an adaptation of God is Born by D.H. Lawrence).
  • Shauna Aura Knight will offer a trance journey inviting the audience to join in song and intonation to draw us into the darkest night. Then, together, we will sing to raise energy and welcome the return of the light.



This year we are hosting a food drive, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. Please see this list for their most needed items and consider bringing one or more to support the community! Second Harvest Food Bank distributes millions of pounds of food each year all throughout southwest Wisconsin, and we’re proud to be a part of their mission to ensure that "everyone in southwestern Wisconsin has enough of the right kinds of food to live a happy and healthy life."



Space is limited -- please register in advance. Email circle@circlesanctuary.org or call us at (608) 924-2216 to reserve your space.

$10 / adult, $5 / youth with proceeds to benefit Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve

Children under 5 are free.


Gates of Heaven, located in James Madison Park at the corner of Gorham and Butler Streets, is a historic building on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1863, it is the eighth oldest surviving synagogue building in the United States. Since its purchase, relocation, and restoration by the City of Madison in 1971, it has served as a community venue for concerts, weddings, celebrations, and other events.  This was the first site for Circle Sanctuary's annual multicultural Winter Solstice Celebration when it began in 1979.



For more information, please contact the Circle Sanctuary office or call 608-924-2216.