May the invitation of prayer and meditation
embrace this holy house and each precious person,
moving each and all to connect with a sense of affirmation—
sound, movement, or silence—
in whatever way your body knows to be true.
Spirit of Life and Love,
our hearts are overflowing
with lamentation and longing.
Longing for a world with more hope and less despair;
Longing for more happy hearts and fewer hungry mouths.
Longing for a life of more connection and less isolation.
Longing for a brave love, a growing seed within us, spreading far and wide.
Longing for a future of less consumption and more compassion.
Actually, longing for that now.
Longing for a government that quells hate and violence, rather than generates it.
Longing for a president that speaks truth.
Longing for a nation that acknowledges its injustices and works to make them right.
Longing for a present with each of us doing what is ours to resist racism and all forms of systemic oppression.
Longing for companions to give us courage, that we might be the people these times require to bring about Beloved Community.
In this circle of care and compassion, we hold those who have shared their joys with us,
for each shared joy is a form of nourishment for all of us.
In this circle of care and compassion, we faithfully witness those who have shared their sorrows with us, for each shared sorrow touches our hearts and we accept the call to lighten the burden of our friend.
In these next few moments of shared stillness, let our hearts pray the prayers only they know, until the chime rings again.