I light this chalice for all the times you have lit this chalice;
For every time you struck the match
Or flicked that zapper thing
Or empowered a nervous parishioner to do the same.
I light this chalice for all that you've done:
For all you've fostered and cultivated and nudged;
For all you've suggested and directed and maneuvered.
I light this chalice for the intensity of your reactions,
In responding to grace and rejecting mediocrity
Within the tender balance between tradition and choice.
I light this chalice for your being here now,
Out of calling,
Out of commitment,
Out of love.
I light this chalice for the time you have spent
Preaching and hurting and healing.
I light this chalice for you.
Rev. Celia Thurston wrote this chalice lighting for a collegial chapter retreat (Michigan & Ohio Valley), for which she served as chaplain.