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Alternate Activity 3: Peace Candles

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Candles (votives or tea lights), lighter, extinguisher, and a bowl or plate of sand to hold the candles
  • Chalice, candle, lighter, and extinguisher
  • Optional: A basket of stones and a bowl of water

Preparation for Activity

  • Decide whether to use candles or stones.
  • Set up the candles, the bowl or plate of sand, and a lighter and extinguisher near the chalice; or, set a bowl of water and a basket of stones near the chalice.

Description of Activity

Invite participants to come forward, one at a time, and light a candle (or select a stone and drop it in the bowl of water).

Gather the group and light the chalice. Ask participants to light their candles from the chalice flame, one at a time, and as they light their candle to share a few brief words about how and when they feel peace-for example, "I feel peace when I am out walking in the woods." Remind them it is always okay to pass and that it is important to respect the person who is sharing by listening to their words without interruption, comment, or judgment.

To conclude the ritual, light one final candle for "all the affirmations of peace we will receive or give until we gather again in community."

Including All Participants

Make it clear that coming forward is voluntary and any participant may pass.

To include participants with mobility challenges or who use wheelchairs, place the chalice and candles or stones in the center of an open circle at a height all participants can reach. If any participants would be unable to move forward and light a candle or drop a stone in the bowl, invite one volunteer to light all the candles or drop the stones as individuals say their thoughts.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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