This simple ritual provides a quiet time during our Sunday service. We set up a small table at the front of the dais. There is a large bowl partially filled with water in the center of the table. On either side is a smaller bowl filled with pebbles that feel nice in the hand.
I read the words below while our pianist plays quietly. I set the example by coming down from the dais to put a pebble in the water.
Then I return to the dais and stand near the pebbles and the water while people come up to silently put pebbles in the water.
After the last person has put pebble in the water I pick up the large bowl as if to present it to the congregation. I hold it up so they can see the pebbles that have been added.
Then I take the bowl and place it directly in front of our chalice.
Note: In an effort to make a simple, appropriate ritual I try to be explicit that people are invited, and not obligated, to participate. I also try to be explicit that the participants are invited to impress their own meaning on their participation.
During this quiet time, please feel free to come forward and place a pebble in the water.
A kind word or a thoughtful act, like a pebble dropped in water, sends ripples out into the world. Should you wish to make a promise or let go of one, remember someone, release a bit of pain, or otherwise mark some important event or occasion, please step forward and quietly send your thoughts outward as you drop a pebble into the water, mingling the ripples of your intention with the ripples of other people in our community.