Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice or LED/battery-operated candle
- Cloth for altar or centering space
- Opening Words for Basket (Session 1, Leader Resource 1), and basket
- Symbols of earth, air, fire, and water
- Newsprint with "Now Let Us Sing" lyrics (Session 1, Activity 2)
- Optional: Session 1, Leader Resource 2, "Now Let Us Sing," Hymn 368 in Singing the Living Tradition
- Optional: A copy of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition
Preparation for Activity
- If you have not already done so, print Session 1, Leader Resource 1, Opening Words for Basket; cut out the short readings and place them in the basket.
- Make sure you know and can lead the Sing to the Power theme song, a "zipper" song based on "Now Let Us Sing," Hymn 368 in Singing the Living Tradition. You can listen to each melodic part (Part 1 and Part 2) and the two parts sung together here. You may want to invite a guest or a volunteer to help lead the song, perhaps to lead half the group in singing one of the two melodic parts.
- Post the newsprint with "Now Let Us Sing" lyrics (from Session 1, Activity 2) adding the words "flowing deep within" for this session.
- Before you begin, ask participants whether they have brought symbols of earth, air, fire, or water and place these on the centering table.
- Set up the centering table with the chalice and symbols of all four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.
Description of Activity
The opening ritual invites children to practice leadership and experience the power of a group coming together in sacred space.
Gather the children in a circle around the chalice. Invite them to take a deep breath and release it, and create a deep silence for a moment.
Invite the day's worship leader to select a reading from the Opening Words Basket and read it aloud.
Invite a member of the group to lift up a symbol of earth from the centering table and say something they honor about the earth or earth power. Invite a member of the group to lift up a symbol of air from the centering table and say something they honor about air or air power. Invite a member of the group to lift up a symbol of fire from the centering table and say something they honor about fire or fire power. Invite a member of the group to lift up a symbol of water from the centering space and say something they honor about the water or water power. Light the chalice.
Sing "Sing to the Power." Include verses for all four elements: "Sing to the power of the earth below." "Sing to the power of the moving air." "Sing to the power of the fire within." "Sing to the power flowing deep within."
Invite participants to hold hands in a circle. Explain, in these words or your own:
Each time the group meets, we focus on ways we find and express our power. As part of each opening circle, we send a pulse of energy, or power, around the circle.
Begin the power pulse by squeezing the hand of the person to your left, who will then squeeze the hand of the person to their left, followed by each person in rapid succession. Send the power pulse around the circle several times.
Conclude the power pulse. While still holding hands, ask the group to take a deep breath together, bringing their hands up as they breathe in, and bringing their hands down as they breathe out.
Return the reading to the Opening Words Basket and extinguish the chalice.
Including All Participants
Some participants may be uncomfortable being touched. Offer the opportunity to opt out of the circle during the time when participants are holding hands for the power pulse.