and thoroughly explores the eight solar holidays that mark the turning of the
Wheel of the Year. Each chapter begins with a history of the holiday—the ways in
which it has been celebrated from ancient to modern times, its relationship to
other religious and secular celebrations and its cultural and mythological
foundations. This history is followed by seasonal activities suitable for
individuals, families and small group worship. Each chapter concludes with a
formal ritual for church communities and classrooms, complete with scripted
narration, readings, songs, dramatic enactments, litanies of seasonal blessings
and suggestions for ceremonial food.
In Nature’s Honor reconnects the modern
spiritual seeker with the earth-centered practices of our ancestors. This comprehensive work pays tribute to our physical and spiritual ties to the
Published playwright and award-winning theater teacher and director Patricia Montley was chair of the Theater
Department at Chatham College in Pittsburgh for 17 years. She currently teaches
playwriting in the Odyssey Program at Johns Hopkins University. She is co-chair
of the Worship Committee at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, Maryland, where
she has preached and led rituals for services.
“Folklore and customs from around the world, mythology and
food, religions old and new, plus moving contemporary rituals for large and
small gatherings—this lovely book has it all. Highly recommended for anyone who
feels a connection to our Mother Earth.”
Ardinger, author of Finding
"Exciting, reverent, infused with uncommon good sense, In Nature's Honor explores
the common ground of our rituals and the impetus that has moved us to invent and
perform them. This book brings earth and heaven—and our odd position between the
two—more comfortably and more sympathetically together.
"In prose that is
fresh and engaging, Montley offers us a cultural, anthropological and
mythological study of the rituals that mark the thermal and solar seasons. The
book's deep learning is lightly handled as background history to the feasts we
celebrate. For each festival under consideration, Montley provides private
practices for individuals and formal rituals for larger faith communities. Her
rituals are complete with narrations, litanies, dramatic enactments, songs,
poems and essays. She even suggests ceremonial food and symbolic activities
appropriate to the feast.
"If you have ever
been surprised by an unexpected need to worship and wondered why, and perhaps
how, then here is your book. It is rich and inspiring. It is itself a
—John L'Heureux, author of The Miracle
"Montley's compendium of rituals provides marvelous examples of how people
around the world celebrate the seasons of the year and seasons of their lives.
This is a collection to consult often as faith communities, smaller circles and
individuals seek to honor and make meaning of the earth."
—Mary E. Hunt,
co-founder of WATER, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual
"Patricia Montley has given us all a great gift for remembering our place
in the cycle of Earth's seasons. An excellent resource of young and old of many
—Hallie Austen Iglehart, author of The Heart of the
For more information contact skinnerhouse @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.
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Publication Date: July 2005
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