Sunday Curmudgeonly Water Is Life

Water Ceremonies Bring Us Together

Along with a countless number of UU congregations throughout America today, I participated in our in-gathering Water Ceremony. After a summer of lay-led and joint services with neighboring congregations, we were together, all of us, finally. As is fitting in these pandemic times, some of us were zooming, and others attended the outdoor service in person: masked, vaxxed, and socially distant.

The tradition of bringing a little water from somewhere significant, then blending it with others’ water is a lovely one. Congregants are asked to pour some into a common vessel according to four invitations.

The East - as Dawn, signifying Hope, Trust, and Promise-Making.

The South - as Noon, signifying Work, Integration, and Gathering.

The West - as Dusk, signifying Rest, Sorrow, and Forgiveness.

The North - as Midnight, signifying Dreaming and Facing Fear.

The collected water is then boiled, filtered, reserved, and used during the coming year for child dedications.

This hybrid zoom and outdoor service is not how we hoped to start our church year. We had hoped that the virus would be behind us by this time. That it is not is a testament to a great unrest in our world. As a UU congregation, we will continue to do our part to ensure the health and safety of all people. We will continue to make decisions that protect the most vulnerable among us. We will continue to sacrifice what we must until we can convince all in this country that this is the way forward, that this, this is the very and only kind, decent, and human thing to do.

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