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Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice candle or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Lighter and extinguisher, if needed
  • Labyrinth
  • Basket of name stones
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Write the chalice-lighting words on newsprint, and post.
  • Memorize the chalice-lighting words so you can make eye contact with participants while you say them.
  • Spread the labyrinth on the floor with the chalice in the center.
  • On top of the labyrinth, place the basket of stones.

Description of Activity

As children enter, invite them to retrieve their name stones from the basket and join you at the labyrinth. The labyrinth should be spread on the floor with the chalice in the center and matches or a lighter at hand, if needed. Be aware of newcomers or guests in the room. Always have extra stones so you can offer the new people a chance to be part of the ritual.

When all are seated, light the chalice and recite these opening words. Invite everyone to say with you:

We are Unitarian Universalists,

with minds that think,

hearts that love,

and hands that are ready to serve.

Invite children to place their stones on the labyrinth, one at a time. Tell them they may share any joys or concerns they would like to when it is their turn to place their stone. You may say:

When you came across the threshold of our meeting space today, did you find your stone? Each stone is a symbol of us as members together of this religious education home. As we light the chalice, say your name for everyone and place your stone on the labyrinth. Look at the flame in the chalice and breathe deeply. Anyone who wishes may share with us something that happened on in your family home this week. You may share a joy, a concern, or simply something that happened.

Close the joys and concerns by affirming that it is very good to be together.

Extinguish the chalice.

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