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HANDOUT 1: Common Worship Components for Children

Adapted from "Components of Worship" by Rev. Barbara Pescan, in the UUA's Spirituality Development Conference manual (Boston: UUA, 2005). After serving churches in Oak Park, IL, West Redding, CT, and Evanston, IL, Barbara Pescan has retired and is living in Wisconsin.

Gathering — Asks us to come together as a religious community. Common rituals: Playing music (called a "prelude"), or ringing a bell or chime.

Opening — Signals the beginning of our sacred time together in worship. Most common ritual: Lighting a chalice and sharing inspiring words.

Acknowledging — We greet or acknowledge each other. This helps us recognize that we are a community. The leader may welcome everyone, encourage participants to greet one another, or lead a ritual where people greet participants in a special way, or singing a hymn together.

Giving — Everyone is invited to participate in the community. Rituals of giving include contributing joys and concerns and collecting an offertory of money. Community announcements of events in which we are invited to participate are also a way of giving.

Centering — Wakes up our inner thoughts and feelings. Common rituals: Prayer, meditation, or reflection.

Receiving - We share our values and thoughts with stories, sermons, dance, poetry, or artwork to teach, inspire, comfort, and encourage each other.

Acknowledging — We affirm that it has been good to have worship time together as a faith community. Common rituals: A hymn or responsive reading about why it has been good to be together.

Closing — Signals the end of our sacred time together in worship. The most common ritual involves saying closing words while extinguishing the chalice.

Dispersal — "ungathering", "leaving" sometimes accompanied by musical ritual, called a postlude.

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Last updated on Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

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