Create a ritual at home!
While we are spending more time together at home with our families, why not use this time to create some family rituals that center our UU faith?
Here are some elements to consider including:
A Chalice Lighting
If you have a chalice at home, you can use that one. If not, consider making one out of objects around your house – anything that you can safely burn a candle in can be a chalice!
Choose a reading or words to say. If you have a copy of Singing the Living Tradition (our gray hymnal) you can choose one from there, or another book or readings or poetry that you like. There’s also an app for that! You can download the WorshipWeb app on your phone or other device to access a lot of UU readings, including chalice lighting words. The app also includes a virtual chalice that you can use. You can also access the WorshipWeb library via this link: https://www.uua.org/worship
Here are some chalice lighting words that I like:
We are Unitarian Universalists
A people of open minds,
And helping hands
(Use the hand motions if you know them!)
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
For each child that’s born, a morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are.
We are our grandmothers’ prayers and
we are our grandfathers’ dreamings,
we are the breath of our ancestors,
we are the spirit of God.
We are the mothers of courage and fathers of time,
we are daughters of the dust and the sons of great visions,
we’re sisters of mercy and brothers of love,
we are lovers of life and the builders of nations,
we’re seekers of truth and keepers of faith,
we’re makers of peace and the wisdom of ages.
-Ysaye M. Barnwell
Check in is a familiar element for many UU’s. You can do a 90 second check in like we do at staff meetings at UUCA where everyone has a certain amount of time to say how they’re doing or what they’re been up to. Family members can check in with what their personal weather is today and why, for example “My weather today is sunny because I had a good day and got to do things that I liked” or “My weather is cloudy because I’m feeling uncertain about what is happening in the world”. You can also use the Rose, Thorn, and Bud method where each person says something they are happy about, something they are sad or mad about, and something they are looking forward to. You can do something as simple as having everyone say what their favorite flavor of ice cream is. Having a set time to check in everyday can help provide some stability for everyone.
Family Story Time
Each day, families can take turns choosing stories to read to each other. It can be a treasured book from your own collection, or a choice from this comprehensive list of stories from Tapestry of Faith curriculum program: https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/stories
Need a break, parents?
Check out this great website for kids from the San Diego Zoo! https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/ Kids can spend some time on this website on their own, while you can get some work done (or do the dishes, or take a shower). You can even talk together about our 7th Principle – Respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part – and what that has to do with caring for animals during family time.