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Ritual is the way we carry the presence of the sacred. Ritual is the spark that must not go out. — Christina Baldwin, in Life's Companion: Journal Writing As a Spiritual Quest

IN TODAY'S SESSION... the group learned about the Unitarian Universalist tradition of flower ceremony with a story about the Czech Unitarian minister, Norbert Capek, who began this ritual in 1923. They made flowers and participated in a flower ceremony service of their own. We introduced the concept of rituals in our faith and talked about how they bring us all together as one. The children learned about conducting a service and some of the worship elements common in our tradition. This session demonstrated how we each come to our congregations as individuals yet also become a part of a whole, when we worship together.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Many families say a blessing or light a candle before a meal. Some families have questions at the dinner table that everyone responds to such as, "What was the best part of your day?" Think about your own family and consider:

  • Do we have rituals in our family? What are they?
  • Are there rituals we would like to begin to do?
  • How could rituals be helpful in our everyday life at home?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... 

A Family Adventure. Consider having an annual flower ceremony with family and friends, perhaps around Mother's Day or Memorial Day. Invite everyone to your home or a local park. Refer to Activity 4, Flower Ceremony in this session for words to use during a gathering. Ask each participant to bring a flower to the service.

Family Discovery. Online, watch a National Geographic movie about ritual and families.

A Family Game. Have every family member list as many rituals as they can that you have at your home. Use a three-minute egg timer and see who can think of the most. Discuss which are your favorites and why.

A Family Ritual. Once each month, your entire family will think of a different family member, neighbor, or friend who needs comfort or a demonstration of love. Decide as a family who will receive the flowers. Gather a small bouquet of fresh flowers (from your own garden, if you have one) or make tissue paper flowers. Put a note with the flowers that says, "Thinking of You" or "Happy Day!" Leave the flowers anonymously or deliver them personally. Make sure everyone in the family has a role; each family member should sign the note.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.