So many of our life events can be blessed by a rite or ritual, either one you find in a resource or one you create yourself. We remember that all our life belongs to God. Nothing is outside God's care. Here is a sampling of events for which rituals can be created. You can add your own.
• College: A work colleague and other women blessed a young woman before she left for college.
• New year: My friends and I mark the transition from one year to the next with a ritual that invites us to share the good and bad of the past year and our hopes and dreams for the new year.
• Beginning or end of retreats: This makes us more aware of the blessings for which we hope going in and those we discover when it's over.
• Children beginning preschool or kindergarten. Graduations.
• The ending of a friendship or other relationship. Loss of a pet.
• Divorce. Release of anger or grief.
• Job transitions.
• A first job or retirement.
• Adding a pet to your life.
• Loss of health, amputation, loss of organs, of mobility or other medical changes or move to a nursing home.
• Move to a new home.
• Sale of home, foreclosure, bankruptcy.
• End of first year of mourning.
• Anniversaries of various types.
• Release from prison.
• New life after abuse or addiction.
vInvasion of home or other crime against you or fire, flood, lost belongings.
• Taking an exam, such as the bar.
• Healing for broken relationships.
Sing a new baptismal song or hymn (or an old song in a new way):
• "Crashing Waters at Creation" (Renewing Worship Songbook, 158); text: Sylvia G. Dunstan; tune: STUTTGART, attr. Christian F. Witt.
• "Wade in the Water" (RWS, 159); text: African American Spiritual; Tune: WADE IN THE WATER, African American Spiritual.
• "Remember and Rejoice" (RWS, 162); text: Ruth Duck; tune: HEATH, S.M. Mason and Webb.
• "This is the Spirit's Entry Now" (RWS, 164); text: Tomas E. Herbranson; tune: AMAZON, Carl G. Gläser.
• Life Passages: Marriage, Healing, Funeral; Renewing Worship, Vol. 4 (Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, 2002).
• New Hymns and Songs; Renewing Worship, Vol. 5 (Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, 2003).
• Holy Baptism and Related Rites; Renewing Worship, Vol. 6 (Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, 2003).
• Out of the Ordinary: Prayers, Poems and Reflections for Every Season by Joyce Rupp (Ave Maria Press, 2000).
• For Everything A Season: 75 Blessings for Daily Life by the Nilsen Family (Zion Publishing, 1999).
• Blessings & Rituals For the Journey of Life by Susan Langhauser (Abingdon Press, 2000).
The 7-foot Christmas tree filled the home with a lovely evergreen scent and its lights and ornaments sparkled. Conversation and stories flowed, sprinkled with laughter. An abundance of appetizers and goodies covered the table. Candles scattered throughout the home created a soft glow that made us forget the cold December evening outdoors.
This was Advent — a time of waiting, of preparing for birth. This was also a special night for the expectant mother. Her baby was soon due, so she and her spouse were apprehensive about all that lay before them: the birth and, even more, raising a child well. So on this night friends and family — all of them women — gathered for a blessing of womb and room.
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