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In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program
Gather the group around the container and the basket of candles. Tell them, in your own words:
Candles of joy and sorrow give each of you the opportunity to experience a ritual that the adults do every week in many Unitarian Universalist congregations. When you light and place your own candle, you can share with us about things that make you happy, which are your joys, and things that might be making you feel sad or worried today. Those are your sorrows.
Begin by lighting a "starter" candle. As you firmly place the candle in the sand so it stands up in the container, you can offer a joy or sorrow of your own, if you feel the modeling will be helpful to children in the group.
Invite the children to come forward, one at a time, and light a candle of joy or sorrow from the starter candle and push it into the sand. Encourage each child to then face the group and tell them what the candle is for.
If the session has time for it, use this activity as part of the Opening to deepen the group's sense of community. It gives participants a chance to name those things which they carry in their hearts, encourages their listening to others, and, in many cases, makes a link with the adult worship experience.
Do not leave candles burning unattended. When all who wish to participate have done so, blow the candles out and put the matches away in a safe place.
If a child is reluctant to name a joy or concern, assure him/her that he/she will be welcome to do so another time, and invite him/her to light and plant a candle in silence. If a child cannot physically light and plant a candle, invite him/her to choose another child to do so while he/she names a joy or sorrow.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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