I was honored to help plan and lead the worship at a recent regional event called Partnering with a Green God at Camp Silver Lake in Sharon. The centerpiece of the worship service was a blessing of the four directions and the four cardinal elements associated with them, a practice that has deep roots within our Christian Tradition, according to Christine Valters Paintner in her new book Water, Wind, Earth and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements. I devised a liturgy based on excerpts from this book and then created an altar using ordinary household items and things I picked up on the grounds of Silver Lake to represent the various elements. I don't have any sort of training in doing this; I just allow the elements to speak to me and arranging them becomes a sort of meditation.
I received many compliments on my liturgy, but what really made it special was the accompaniment provided by Chorical, a group composed of cello and harp.
Not many of us have harpists and cellists at our disposal, but I have done similar liturgies with guitar, piano and other instrumental accompaniment and have received compliments on those as well.
Note: Photo of Jim Deming by Eric Anderson
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