Monday, February 07, 2005

Candlemas - an Intergenerational Activity at Leeds Church

When I am preoccupied with twenty-item "to do" list, frequent bleeps from by Blackberry, six meetings in a day and requests for "just five minutes of your time," as I am walking from event to event, nothing helps more to bring me down to earth than a Sunday morning intergenerational activity at Leeds Church. The theme of this Sunday's activity was the Gospel of Luke in the Christian New Testament, which uses light as a metaphor for the role that Christians believe Jesus played (and continues to play) in the world of human beings.

About twenty children, aged 3 through early teens, gathered around tables in the parish hall, along with a smaller number of adults - actually there was a fifth table comprising adults only. On each table was a bible and sheets of paper with the word "light" written upon it in large letters. We free associated with the word light and then read the passage from Luke (I can't remember chapter and verse). Our head of Sunday School, an energetic, empathetic and unflaggingly patient teacher, distributed sheets of beeswax and wicks to each of us and explained how to make beeswax candles. As we were crafting our candles, we were also invited to the parish hall kitchen where two other members of the congregation had prepared crepes for us - recreating a French candlelmass tradition.

At the end of our service - one of the hymns was "This little light of mine...." candles were distributed to each member of the congregation. The children gathered in the front of the church. "Torchbearers" passed among us lighting each candle. We stood, as a community, candles lit, singing a concluding hymn and receiving a blessing.

Then we formed a procession and took our lights out into the world.


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