Ritual of Reconciliation for a distressed couple or family group — Tod Gobledale, UK

Ritual of Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Love
For a distressed couple, family or group ready to reconcile

Preparation

Each party will be asked to share prepared Affirmations about the relationship and Commitments for the relationship.

Spoken words

Introduction

Reconciliation is a process. It is a long and often difficult road through truth and justice aimed at the restoration of broken relationships, in order to establish a new reconciled reality. There are no quick-fix solutions, no shortcuts or easy roads. For example, the processes of reconciliation that took place in the churches of South Africa and Rwanda [or replace with relevant example from current events] illustrate the challenges and offers guidelines for rituals of reconciliation that can help the church worldwide address its ongoing need for reconciliation.

Like many other shared values, healing and reconciliation have strong roots in a variety of faith traditions. Our own religious and philosophical teachings are rich and strong sources for learning about forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing. However, not many people take time to explore specifically how their own traditions and other traditions advocate for the power of healing. Religious rituals for reconciliation are powerful settings that often invoke strong emotions; furthermore, our cultural values and practices are often mixed with religious rituals. The diversity of sources for forgiveness create a great dialogue about where people find the power to forgive, heal, and reconcile.

Wisdom on the Shared Value of Forgiveness and Reconciliation  (Choose one or more reading.)

Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.
–The Buddha

Let not your heart be offended with anyone. If someone commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive them.
–Baha’I Tradition on Forgiveness (from The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.453)

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.
–Buddhist Tradition of Forgiveness (from Itivuttaka 18)

And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God has forgiven you.
–Christian Tradition of Forgiveness (from Ephesians 4:32)

It has been said that the continuation of species is due to humans being forgiving. People, indeed, are wise and excellent when they conquer their wrath and show forgiveness even when insulted, oppressed and angered by a strong person…Forgiveness is holiness and by forgiveness is it that the universe is held together.
–Hindu Tradition of Forgiveness (from Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Section XXVIII)

Subvert anger by forgiveness.
–Jain Tradition of Forgiveness (from Samanasuttam 136)

Who takes vengeance or bears a grudge acts like one who, having cut one hand while handling a knife, avenges himself by stabbing the other hand.
–Jewish Tradition of Forgiveness (from Jerusalem Talmud, Nadarim 9:4)

They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
–Muslim Tradition of Forgiveness (from Surah 24:22)

Where there is forgiveness, there is God.
–Sikh Tradition of Forgiveness (from Adi Granth, Shalok, Kabir, p. 1372)

Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.
–Albert Einstein

Being intentional with your relationship

Due to the constant change within relationships we have the choice to let changing circumstances shape our relationship OR we can determine how we would like our relationship to change to meet our needs and help us to experience fulfilment.

To be intentional demands that you determine what direction you want your relationship to take. It is possible to decide together the direction you as a couple want for your relationship, to set goals and make a growth plan which will help you both bring growth and the desired change to your relationship.

Affirmations

I invite you at this time to share the affirmations about your relationship which you have prepared.

Affirmations I make about our relationship…

To be prepared by each party beforehand, brought and read aloud to one another.
If there are several, the two parties might alternate, taking turns reading.

Commitments

I invite you at this time to share the commitments you are willing to make today toward upholding and honouring your relationship.

Commitments I make for our relationship…

To be prepared by each party beforehand, brought and read aloud to one another.
If there are several, the two parties might alternate, taking turns reading.

Act to seal the reconciliation

This might be the exchange of objects, an embrace, a handshake or other cultural sign of peace, respect, friendship or love.