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Leader Resource 1: Alternate Openings

Young children appreciate ritual. Repeating the same opening words or singing the same song at the start of each session supports a structure and consistency of practice that will strengthen each child's sense of belonging in Moral Tales as well as their Unitarian Universalist identity.

An adaptation of Reading 414 in Singing the Living Tradition is suggested for opening words to begin each session of Moral Tales. However, you may prefer to use opening words that are usually used in your congregation's religious education program; another reading or song, such as those offered below; or a completely different opening ritual that you design for this group.

If you want to use a hymn or song you do not know well, consider asking the music director of your congregation to teach it to you or to record it for you to play during your Openings to accompany the group. If you are uncomfortable teaching or leading a song, invite a musical volunteer from your congregation to join the group for the Opening and teach/lead the song for you, at least for the first few sessions of Moral Tales.

Alternate Openings

1. Have children sing the first verse of "Enter, Rejoice and Come In," Hymn 361 in Singing the Living Tradition:

Enter, rejoice and come in.

Enter, rejoice and come in.

Today will be a joyful day.

Enter, rejoice and come in.

2. Sing the first verse of "Come, Sing a Song with Me," Hymn 346 in Singing the Living Tradition.

Come, sing a song with me.

Come, sing a song with me.

Come, sing a song with me,

That I might know your mind.

And I'll bring you hope

When hope is hard to find,

And I'll bring a song of love

And a rose in the winter time.

3. Teach the children these traditional opening or chalice-lighting words and the hand motions that accompany each line:

We are Unitarian Universalists

with minds that think (hands tap head lightly),

hearts that love (tap chest lightly),

and hands that are ready to serve (hands outstretched).

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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