Flower Communion 5/18/14

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In the name of Providence, which implants in the seed the future of the flower and in our hearts the longing for people to live in harmony. In the name of the highest, in whom we move and who makes the mother and father, the brother and sister, the lover and loner what they are; In the name of sages and great religious leaders, who sacrificed their lives to hasten the coming of the age of mutual respect -Let us renew our resolution—sincerely to be real brothers and sisters regardless of any kind of bar which estranges us from each other. In this holy resolution may we be strengthened, knowing that we are God’s family, that one spirit, the spirit of love, unites us, and may we endeavor for a more perfect and more joyful life. Amen.  – Norbert Chapek

Homily:

I know this rose will open, come share a rose with me.

The Flower Communion service was created by Dr. Norbert Capek [Chah-Peck], the founder of the modern Unitarian movement in Czechoslovakia. It is a wonderful ritual, which gives concrete expression to the humanity-affirming principles of our liberal faith.  Our opening words and the blessing of the flowers were both written by Dr. Capek.  When the Nazis took control of Prague in 1940, they found Dr. Capek’s gospel of the inherent worth and beauty of every human person to be-as Nazi court records show– “…too dangerous to the Reich [for him] to be allowed to live.”

Dr. Capek was sent to Dachau, where he was killed the next year during a Nazi “medical experiment.” This gentle man suffered a cruel death, but his message of human hope and decency lives on through his Flower Communion, which most Unitarian Universalist congregations celebrate each year.

And just as our first principle calls us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, we enjoy the beauty and variety of all the different flowers we have here this morning. The flowers are not perfect, and neither are we. The flowers might be bruised or bent, and bugs may have nibbled at some of their leaves. Still there is beauty, in each of the flowers and in each of us.

And in our theology, the bouquet also matters, because we know that we are all connected in an interdependent web of existence.

Diversity is a blessing and we must continue to work so that people, like flowers, are appreciated for their unique beauty and are not disparaged simply because they are different. Flowers do not bloom alone. They need each other, just as we need each other. After the service, at our annual meeting, we will decide together just what we want and need to do in order to keep the flowers growing in this special garden of ours.

 

Now, before we begin the flower communion, some words byElizabeth Strong

Enter into the communion of flowers.

Enter with joyful hearts.

Enter with reverent thoughts.

It has taken long months beneath
cold ground for these flowers
to prepare their blooming.

It has taken each of us long times
of growth through sorrow and joy
to prepare for our living now.

The blooming season is short,
The flowers stay only a brief time.
We are travelers upon the earth:
travelers through all too brief life times.

Therefore let our moments be bountiful.
Let us rejoice in our unique colors, aromas, and sounds.
Let us celebrate together in love;
that as we travel away, we take with us
the memory of golden hours together
among the flowers.

Amen and Blessed Be!

Will the children of the congregation please come forward as we bless the flowers?   Blessing words by Norbert Chapek:

Infinite Spirit of Life, we ask thy blessing on these, thy messengers of fellowship and love. May they remind us, amid diversities of knowledge and of gifts, to be one in desire and affection, and devotion to thy holy will. May they also remind us of the value of comradeship, of doing and sharing alike. May we cherish friendship as one of thy most precious gifts.

May we not let awareness of another’s talents discourage us, or sully our relationship, but may we realize that, whatever we can do, great or small, the efforts of all of us are needed to do thy work in this world.

Partaking of the Communion

We have blessed these flowers in the midst of this diverse community, led by the children, who are our future and our present. It is time now for us to share in the Flower Communion.

I ask that you each in turn, as you feel moved, knowing that there is no need to rush, approach the table quietly from the center aisle, approach it slowly, –reverently–with a sense of how important it is for each of us to address our world and one another with gentleness, justice, and love.

Please select a flower–different from the one you may have brought–that particularly appeals to you.

As you take your chosen flower–noting its special and individual shape and beauty, perhaps noting its imperfections as well –please remember to handle it carefully. It is a gift that someone else has brought to you. It represents that person’s unique humanity, and therefore deserves your kindest touch. After you have chosen your flower, please return to your seat via one of the side aisles. Let us now share in this Unitarian Universalist ritual of oneness and love.

 

May the flowers we have shared this morning remind us that all are precious and all are beautiful, each in their own unique and special way.  Together we create an amazing bouquet. May this garden flourish and may it bless the world. May all of us be guided always by the transforming power of love.

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