Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Joys & Sorrows for 500 (with Kids)

I've been present twice for Joys and Sorrows in our new Atrium Auditorium. Imagine a free-standing candelabra-type structure with ten cups for candles, arranged in a spiral. Two of these, a standing microphone and a minister holding a lit taper worked quite well for our ritual. No more putting candles into a small bowl of sand!

This past Sunday, I shared a joy (so I won't go up again for awhile). It felt great, but the best part was having children participate in Joys and Sorrows with their parents, lighting candles while their parents expressed milestones. Now that children are present during the first part of every worship service, they can get familiar with more of our rituals.

Of course, I heard a rumor that some people are unhappy with children being present. Some are unhappy that we are still doing Joys and Sorrows. I enjoy both and understand their importance to our congregation.



Kelly KH said...

I am always curious about why people are resistant to having children involved in the service. Do you know some of your congregation is resistant?

Now not wanting joys and sorrows I don't understand at all! To me, it helps us to connect as individuals and as a congregation to know what personal things are going on for people.

I miss the J&S at my first UUF, where people would stand up and say them. At my current (large) church, the minister announces any that have been sent in ahead of time, which just doesn't have the same impact to me.

Elizabeth J. Barrett said...

Kelly, thanks so much for your comment! Yes, I do know that some people are resistant to having children in the service during the first twenty minutes. There have been some complaints about noisy little ones.

As for J&S, apparently my UU congregation is the largest one on the North American continent still doing joys and sorrows. I agree with you that it is a valuable ritual. See my earlier post about this, please.