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Alternate Activity 3: Covenant Ritual

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Tea light candles and a lighter
  • A large, shallow bowl of sand

Preparation for Activity

  • Make sure it is okay to use lit candles in your meeting space. Keep a fire extinguisher at hand.
  • Set out the bowl of sand. Arrange the tea light candles near the bowl.

Description of Activity

Place a candle in the sand and light it. Invite the children to come forward, one at a time, light their own candle using the flame from the candle you lit, and place their candle in the sand. Tell them they may light their candle silently or share some words about what a covenant is or does or has meant to them at some point in their life. If you like, offer examples (e.g., "a covenant is a promise;" "it's a commitment;" "keeps people on track," or "reminds me how to be with others"). Or, model a phrase about covenant as you light the first candle.

When everyone who wishes to has lit a candle, offer brief closing words, such as:

These candles honor the covenant this group has made and the way we have lived our covenant in the times we have been together.

Then, extinguish the candles.

Including All Participants

If any participants would have difficulty stepping forward and lighting a tea light, designate one or two participants as candle lighters. Gather the rest of the group in a circle, and invite each individual to share their words about covenant as a candle is lit for them. Include the option of silence; make it clear that a child can remain silent as a candle is lit for them.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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