Ritual is the act of sanctifying action—even ordinary action—so that it has meaning: I can light a candle because I need light or because the candle represents the light I need. — Christina Baldwin, storyteller and author
This first session teaches what we mean when we talk about signs, symbols, and rituals. Children understand the concept of a ritual by reflecting on both secular and religious rituals in their lives. They learn that Unitarian Universalist congregations engage in rituals for events that are universal, such as birth, death, and coming of age, and enact rituals unique to our faith, such as a UU flower communion. The children examine why rituals are important to connect us to each other and our faith. And, they explore how signs can represent abstract ideas. This will help them understand the foundational statement of the program: Our behavior every day is a sign of our faith.
Beginning in Session 2, leaders will invite the children to wear stoles during Opening and Closing rituals. Before the next session, obtain a stole for each child in the group plus extra stoles for newcomers and guests.
This session will:
- Introduce the program
- Define important terms such as sign, ritual, symbol, and abstract
- Identify signs and rituals in participants' everyday lives
- Identify signs and rituals related to the Unitarian Universalist congregation.
- Understand "ritual" by naming the rituals they engage in each day
- Become familiar with terms that will recur throughout the program: sign, ritual, symbol, and abstract
- Through hands-on activities, learn how religious rituals and signs represent abstract ideas.