Monday, December 12, 2011

Addressing the Human in Humanity

Comments on "Simply Sacred"
From a Unitarian Universalist friend:
Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

In the Unitarian/Universalist tradition the “dedication” service is just as you describe (except for not being in the home.) The whole community dedicates themselves to the child.

Communion. Community. Communing. Commune."

A very faithful Jewish friend:

"This is wonderful.... and these rituals can be found in Judaism.

A baby is welcomed into the community with ceremonies. A girl may be named at home or in the synagogue with a special blessing, with a clergy member officiating (rabbi or cantor). Prayers for the child and parents are sung/said, with the hope that the child will be raised to perform loving deeds throughout his/her life. Circumcision for a boy is traditionally performed on the eighth day, and signifies the covenant that Abraham made with God. A naming ceremony for a daughter takes place anytime. At both ceremonies, the child is given a Hebrew name, frequently chosen to honor the memory of a loved one in the family. However, in Sephardic (Mediterranean) tradition, names are often given to honor a still-living relative (i.e., grandparent). These rituals are meant to be shared by the community, in the hope that, in the future, that community will gather to celebrate other occasions in the child's life - such as Bar/Bat Mitzvah and marriage. Education of the child is meant to be shared in the home and in the community. "Show me the way in which to go...."

My husband and I introduced the "Motsi" prayer (thanking God for the food we eat) to our children on a regular basis, after being in the home of friends who did the same. We enjoyed clasping hands around the table, saying or singing the blessing, and then enjoying our meal. My husband and I continue our ritual to this day, and we really surprised my daughter last night, when we did the same at her house. Acknowledging those who have prepared and provided our sustenance is a powerful connection to make for our children and grandchildren. And I, too, mourn the loss of regular family meals in many homes. Community.... communing.... at home and away. Beautiful values, all!"

I Googled "Motzi." Here is what I found:
"Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth."

Read more: How to Give the Motzi Blessing |

A retired Pentecostal minister who was long-stationed in Africa posted this in the comments:
"These things you mention are some of the reasons that in our tradition we have called "Communion" by a different label most of the time. We do refer to it from time to time as "Communion", but more often as "The Lord's Supper". For me, the Communion is about remembering the Lord's death on the cross as the price for my sins. He died that I might live. The wafer signifying the broken body - and the fruit of the vine signifying the blood that He shed on Calvary's cross.

In my growing up as a Pentecostal, we always were taught to pray before every meal and it included something like, "Thank you Lord for the food set before us and ...Lord bless this food, the hands that have provided it and those that prepared it. In Jesus name." That's thanksgiving first to God, then to the human hands that took part in the preparation thereof.

The "dedication of a child" always involved a charge to the parents that this was a moment of challenge to them that it is their responsibility to teach their child the ways of the Lord to the best of their ability. This dedication does not assure the child's salvation. That is a personal matter for the child to decide when the child comes to the age of accountability and makes his/her own decision to accept Christ or reject Him."

I believe it was Mother Theresa who said that we are God's hands on earth. I believe that we all need to understand that we as human animals need human touch and human ministry in so many ways. Each of us is given some gift(s) to give, even if others don't want to acknowledge our value. We must look for the value in each person and honor the Divine Spark in each person, lest we lose our collective souls in the competition for most-favored status.

1 comment:

  1. Quite an informative post. Thanks for sharing this with all of us who read this blog.