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Ritual – It’s in our DNA

Only recently I have come to realize that these were familiar and comfortable rituals, even if the words no longer had the same meaning for many of the attendees. These were rituals most of these folks in attendance had been repeating for decades. They were probably not paying attention to words or their meanings. But they were participating in something that brought them together with their church family or their denominational home. They were experiencing oneness, a connection of body and soul with the people who surrounded them. That is what rituals are supposed to do.

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Life Celebrations: New Language

Most Christians, however, have a different take on the monistic approach, and believe that a divine presence inheres in all that is. God is. And God is everywhere, although hidden except to the eyes of faith. As progressive Christians, this is where we must take our stand. The sacred and the secular co-inhere. The one is in the other. With this as our basis, the questions now become: what language do we use? to whom are we speaking? do we speak directly of God? Let’s assume that we are at a ceremony of some sort, perhaps a wedding, a Thanksgiving dinner, a Christmas day gathering, a funeral. Let us also suppose that the crowd is mixed: some Christians, some Jews, some secularists. Is there a language that not only will not alienate anyone but will also communicate to them the depth of the moment? I believe there is.

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May the Food that We Eat

From the Boundless Life collection

May the food that we eat
And the friends that we share
Give us strength for spreading
True justice and peace.

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We are children of the cosmos

From the Boundless Life collection

We are children of the Cosmos,

We are subject to its laws,

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The cosmos in all its wonder

From the Boundless Life collection

The Cosmos in all its wonder

SINGS A MAGIC SONG.

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The Earth Is Yours

With optional responses

Oh, nurturing God we thank you for the seeds
The source is yours and all in it

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Call to Worship

Drawn by God’s presence. . .
. . .we gather
Inspired by God’s spirit. . .
. . .we worship

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Charge our hearts with wonder

From the Boundless Life collection

Charge our hearts with wonder,
God of sheer delight,
As we sense your presence
Filling day and night.

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If heaven is more than simply a place

From the Boundless Life collection

If Heaven is more than simply a place,
If pictures of God evolve evermore,
If love is affirmed as life’s highest grace
The mystery remains, the sacred expands
To gift compassion’s transforming embrace.

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When masks of God both age and die

From the Boundless Life collection

When masks of God both age and die,
With intervening deities,
As doctrines lose their rigid hold
And freedoms grow like forest trees

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Leave behind illusion’s ways

From the Boundless Life collection

Leave behind illusion’s ways
Culture plants within the mind,
Clothed in vestments of the faith
Masking truths we need to find,

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Prayer

When prayers were words

I felt like

I was failing

a sentence prayer exam.

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