Blessing with water

Mosque, Alanya, Turkey
Mosque, Alanya, Turkey


In the 1960’s the ritual of gathering the waters was introduced at University Church, Chicago (Disciples of Christ & United Church of Christ). On the first Sunday of September, when everyone is home from their holiday and summer adventures and the school year has started anew, members bring water they have brought from distant places. Those who had stayed in the city for the summer, brought water from their kitchen faucet or another meaningful local tap. During the worship service, everyone is invited to pour the contents of their vials and jars into a communal bowl. In this way the community collects itself, draws itself together, unites itself anew as God’s gathered people at University Church.


Each person is invited to pour the water from your own place into the bowl in the center. Open time for sharing ways in which the Spirit of Living Water has called us to this place.

Blessing of the Spirit of Living Water:
As the bowl is passed around the circle, dip your fingers in the water and touch the forehead of the person to your left with a short word of blessing.

The service “Blest by Living Waters,” from which this ritual is drawn, has been used for opening worship at Christian Peacemaker Team trainings since 1993.