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Services: “Fall Equinox

Also appropriate as Other Rituals

Overview: Harvest, Balance, and Mulching for Spring

Theme or Background: Equinox/Harvest Time

Materials involved: Apples for folks to share, paper leaf cutouts, pens, bowl of water, bell or gong

Details: Opening Words:  Robert T. Weston, Singing the Living Tradition #538

Light the chalice and proceed to the outside, chanting: “Gathered here”

Circle and sit.

“We have come together at this most sacred time of year, when life and death stand in balance in their endless dance. Let us take one moment to think about what is in balance in our lives.”

—ring bell—

pause for one moment

—ring bell—

“And, to balance that out, let us dwell for a moment on what could be more balanced than it has been lately.”

—ring bell—

pause for one moment

—ring bell—

Pass around apples while saying:

“As a symbol of the bountiful harvest that each year brings our hearts, take a deep bite from the apple, but don’t swallow yet. Holding the bite in your mouth, consider its perilous position. Just a moment ago, it was safely part of a whole fruit, and had never known anything different. Now, it stands on the cusp of falling into a pit of boiling acid – and through that pit, the molecules within it will become us. There is literally no difference between us and the apple bite. 

Only time separates us. We are just the same.”

“Okay, now we can swallow—and hold on tight.”

“Like the apple bite, we are always leaving something behind – or maybe we’d like to leave something behind but haven’t found a way to do so yet. I’m passing around some leaves and some pens, so you can write down things you want to leave behind. What you write will stay between you and the God/dess”

—ring bell—

pause for two or three moments

—ring bell—

"Now, one at a time, we will bring our leaves to the center of the circle and mulch them/burn them in the chalice. As you do so, you may share with the group what you are leaving behind. You may also mulch in silence if you prefer."

This part happens

"If everyone has gone, there is a final piece of the harvest ritual to perform. Dig into your apples and retrieve a single seed.
We’re going to do something called “raising power” to consecrate these seeds with our life energy and store the strength of this year to begin the next.

There are several ways to do this, but one is with a simple open vowel sound chant like thus: A-Om. Try it. (maybe a couple of times)
So we all do that together, slowly getting louder and higher in pitch, all holding our seeds."

Get a few people to say this next part together.

"Now! Raise power that these seeds will rest, containing within the fruit as the fruit contained them. Never ending is the Cycle! Ever Blessed is the way!

(power is raised)

Everyone put your left hand out like this. And, with the seed, your right hand out like this.

Guard well this seed, and fertilize it with your wishes, hopes and truths, so that in spring, planted, they will thrive and grow. Protect and preserve this seed, that it protect you.

And let go."

(people hand off their seeds)

Chant “Earth My Body”

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

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Last updated on Monday, March 25, 2013.

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