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Services: “Prayer: Chalice Circle

Song

“Gathered Here”

Chalice Lighting

This is our circle of chalice light,
Where peace and love are burning bright,
A place of wonder, a place of fun,
Welcome, welcome, everyone!

Greetings

Good morning! Stand up and greet your neighbor with a handshake or hug. Stay standing—I’m going to teach you a peace prayer.

Movements to Ghandi's Peace Prayer

I offer you peace (arms outstretched in front of you with palms facing up)
I offer you friendship (arms outstretch in front of you with hands clasped)
I offer you love (arms crossed over chest)
I see your beauty (touch eyes)
I hear your needs (touch ears)
I feel your feelings (hands touch chest)
My wisdom comes from a higher source (arms reach up, palms facing up)
I honor that source in you (arms outstretched in front of you, palms facing up)
Let us work together (arms outstretched in front of you, hands clasped)

Offering

Explain the offering—giving to our congregation and to others who need help. We will be collecting food for the food pantry.

Song

“From You I Receive”

From you I receive, from you I give
Together we share, and from this we live.

Introduction

So far this year in Chalice Circle, we have talked about many things. What are some of them? (What is God, New Year’s resolutions, faith and healing, the labyrinth, and hunger) We have also learned some songs and some spiritual practices. What are spiritual practices? (Things we can do to help us in life and to help us grow on the inside.) What are some of the spiritual practices we have learned? (Walking the labyrinth, meditation, and prayer beads.)

Today, we will be learning about prayer. Are prayers good or bad? Do you like the word “prayer”? Why or why not?

I wonder where prayers come from? Some come from the Bible: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Some come from other holy books, such as the Torah and the Koran. Some come from other cultures and countries. And many come from people like you and me!

I wonder why people pray?

Samples of some prayers read by young people.

  1. Prayers of Thanks:
    For the flowers that bloom about our feet, Father, we thank thee, For tender grass so fresh and sweet, Father, we thank thee, For the song of the bird and hum of bee, For all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee. (Emerson)
     
  2. Prayers for Help:
    Dear God, There are many paths to choose from. Please show me the way to go. Amen.
     
  3. Prayers for Healing:
    Dear God, my friend is sick and I don’t want him to be sick. We want to play together. Please make him better. Amen.
     
  4. Prayers of Leaving:
    May the Circle be open but unbroken. May the love of the Goddess be ever in our hearts. Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again. (Starhawk)
     
  5. Prayers of Sadness:
    Dear God, my pet died today. I cried and felt so bad. Is there a pet heaven? Is it the same for people? Will we see each other again? I hope so. Amen.
     
  6. Prayers for Peace:
    O God of many names, Lover of all nations, We pray for peace in our hearts, in our homes, in our nations, in our world.
     
  7. Bedtime Prayers:
    Four corners to my bed, Four angels ‘round my head. One to watch and two to pray, and one to keep all fear away. (Jenny Dent)

Wondering Questions

I wonder if prayers are answered?

What do you wonder?

Ways to Pray

If I were to say, “Let us pray”, what would you do? Show me! (Most will bow heads, fold hands, sit quietly.) Yes, that is the way most of us have learned to pray. Some other positions used in prayer are (have young people try each one as you say them): sit with arms raised and hands open; sit with hands in lap palms up/down; lying on back eyes open/closed; lying on front with forehead to floor; standing with head down and eyes closed, then eyes open; kneeling with head down and eyes closed, then head level eyes closed/opened; stand with head towards sky and eyes opened, then closed; in a circle facing inward/outward; in a circle holding hands/arms around each other/arms raised above head holding hands; in a circle holding hands with palms facing but not touching. Can you feel each other without touching?

Did you know there are other ways to pray? Can you give me an example? (Listen to examples and have group try each one if appropriate.) After a few, do some of the following if not already done:

  • Chants—some people chant their prayers—chants are words or short phrases that repeat over and over, usually to music. Here’s an example: Alleluia, alleluia, amen, amen.
     
  • Songs—some people sing their prayers—sing Amazing Grace, Johnny Appleseed Song
     
  • Meditation
     
  • Walking—slowly, such as in a labyrinth, out in nature, or inside
     
  • Body Prayer

Closing Circle

Let peace encircle all the world,
Let all on earth join hand in hand,
A living bond of fellowship
A voice of love in every land.

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 worshipweb@uua.org.

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Last updated on Monday, February 25, 2013.

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