Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirit of Life: An Adult Program on Unitarian Universalist Spirituality

Activity 4: What Does This Song Mean to You?

Part of Spirit of Life

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Optional: Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Review the discussion questions for this activity to be comfortable posing them to your group.
  • Optional: If you want to record participant responses during the discussion, post newsprint where all can see it and place markers nearby.

Description of Activity

Share with participants this excerpt from a 2007 article in UU World:

No other song, no other prayer, no other piece of liturgy is so well known and loved in Unitarian Universalism as "Spirit of Life" by Carolyn McDade.

It is our Doxology, or perhaps our "Amazing Grace." Many congregations sing it every Sunday, or at least enough to know the words by heart. Sermons have been devoted to this one song... It is sung at weddings and memorial services, around campfires and at demonstrations, at cradles and hospital bedsides.

In six short lines "Spirit of Life" touches so much that is central to our faith-compassion, justice, community, freedom, reverence for nature, and the mystery of life. It finds the common ground held by humanists and theists, pagans and Christians, Buddhists and Jews, gay and straight among us.

Engage participants in a reflection on the song "Spirit of Life," using the questions below. Allow a few short responses to each question. If you like, you or a volunteer may note participant responses on newsprint:

  • Does the song elicit a feeling in you? If so, what feeling?
  • Do you identify this feeling with a sense of spirituality, and in what way?