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In "Love Surrounds Us," a Tapestry of Faith program
This activity demonstrates a way that people who believe the Earth is sacred conduct worship. It recalls our connection to the whole universe.
Explain that you are going to worship the elements of life symbolically by calling the directions. Say:
There are four elements in the world: air, fire, water, and earth. Each one has a direction associated with it. Air is east, fire is south, water is west, and earth is north.
Have everyone stand and face east. Lead a chant of your own or have all participants say "I am air, of the east" several times. Ask participants what things in the world symbolize air to them and invite them to call out those symbols; they may say words such as birds, wind, or leaves.
Next, have everyone make a quarter-turn to the right (south) and repeat the chant using "fire" and "south" several times. Ask participants to call out symbols of fire (sun, flames, candles).
Next, have everyone turn to the west and repeat the chant using "water" and "west" several times. Ask them to call out symbols of water (fish, swimming, oceans).
Next, have everyone turn to the north and repeat the chant using "earth" and "north" several times. Ask them to call out symbols of earth (plants, dirt, mountains).
End by leading the children to repeat, "Air, fire, water, and earth, I am," three times, while walking together in a circle.
Participants who have mobility limitations can remain seated in the circle and turn themselves or be turned by a partner or co-leader to each direction.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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