Blessings with water

What gives us life?

What sustains us?

Using water as the focus, we gather and bless one another.

 

 

Worship Words resources for Blessing of water rituals:

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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 tap/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.

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Sharing:
Each person is invited to pour the water from your own place into the bowl in the centre. 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.


IMG_1556Splish Splash!
Drip Drop!
Water of Life,
You wash over the world.
You quench our thirst,
Water plants and trees that give us food,
Wash us clean,
Tumble over rocks and roots in rivers,
And ebb and flow in oceans.

Thank you for water!
Help us use water wisely, carefully and joyously.
Amen.

 

Water, Holy Water: a service for the blessing of water

This resource originates from Creation Justice Ministries USA which develops Earth Day Sunday materials each year to help congregations celebrate and care for God’s Creation. 

 

PDF – Water, Holy Water – ready-to-print download

WORD – Water, Holy Water – ready-to-print download

 

Faith Reflection

“I don’t know what tallies as sacred for you but if water doesn’t qualify, you should check your pulse to see whether you are among the quick or the dead”

Larry Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary

 

Opening Words

We know that water is central to our existence and our health. It is also central to our spiritual lives and helps us to connect with God. From bathtubs to rivers, drinking glasses to waterfalls, and baptismal fonts to expansive seas, water is a gift from God.

John writes, “Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’”

To have a resource so sacred requires acknowledgement of its importance and of our responsibility to ensure those long after us can access and experience this life-giving element.

 

Opening Prayer

Creator God,

We give you thanks for your creation and everything in it. Teach us to love and care for our communities and neighbours, near and far.  Please help us to remember you and your gift of water now and always. May we recognize the holiness in all the earth’s water and strive for care and protection.  Amen

 

Call to Worship      (from: “A desert faith in a desert time”, Ghost Ranch, 2013—PEC Ferncliff Conference)

We gather to worship God, Giver of Life,

God, give us the waters of new life.

In the deserts of our lives, in the wilderness within,

God, give us the waters of new life.

To give us hope when our lives run dry, to give us strength when our world seems barren,

God, gives us the waters of new life.

To let peace flow like a river and love spring forth like a fountain,

God, give us the waters of new life.

To make justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a living stream,

God, give us the waters of new life.

To give us- and our world- a second chance and a new beginning,

God, give us the waters of new life.

Come, people of God, open your lives to receive God’s new life. Open your hearts to sing God’s praise.

 

Scripture Readings (may be dispersed throughout the service)

Job 5:10

Isaiah 43:16-21

Ezekiel 34:18

Psalm 104:10-13

(scroll down for full texts)

 

Prayer for the Blessing of the Waters

(to be used for blessing water from a local stream, river, or lake)

Adapted from the rite of the Great Blessing of the Water as celebrated in the Orthodox tradition. (further adaptations have been made for Worship Words)

You are great, Eternal One, and your works are wondrous.  You brought all things in to being from nothing.

By your power you uphold the whole of creation, and order the world.

The sun sings to you, the moon glorifies you, the stars meet together before your face,

the light obeys you, the deeps shudder before you, the water springs serve you.

Be present here now sanctifying this water with the blessing of Jordan.

Make it a fountain of goodness, a protection against disease, a destruction of demons.

And may it be for us the cleansing of our souls and bodies,

the healing of our passions, the sanctification of our homes.

 

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God,

Forgive our neglect of what you have entrusted to us as stewards.

We confess that we take your gift of water for granted and acknowledge the need for repentance and action.

We are reminded of your power and love with every nourishing drink and cleansing bath.

Empower us to speak for those without, and work to ensure justice and access for all. Amen

 

Sending Forth

May we forever exalt God and creation.

Go in peace, enjoy God’s gift of water, and work to preserve this sacred resource for today and the future.

 

Scripture Readings

Job 5:10

God gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields.

Isaiah 43:16-21

This is what the Eternal One says—the one who made a way through the sea,  a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things;  do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls,  because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”

Ezekiel 34:18

Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?

Psalm 104:10-13

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst. By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.