By Amanda Uluhan
Last week, we started with an at home lesson and activity about making chalices. Now that you’ve got one, where do you put your Flaming Chalice?
Chalices are often placed on an altar among other important memorabilia and artifacts. In our Sanctuary, there’s a very large chalice. In our classrooms, we always have a chalice at the center of the room for story time or check in. Maybe you already have a place in your house that’s your favorite, or that you put some of your most special things. Where is your sacred space, and what do you love about it?
This lesson talk about how to make a special space, or an altar, for your chalices and other special things in your home.
Most religions have special objects or symbols, like the chalice, to help them remember their beliefs and values. These objects also remind us of spiritual practices that we can rely on in our daily lives to help us.
What are some things that you think are really special? Maybe they are things that remind you about people you love, or places you love, or things you love to do. Take some time to walk around your house to gather these up. Maybe you want to have a theme for your alter. You can use a seasonal theme, like spring! For example. What about a color, or texture? Maybe you love purple or blue, or maybe you want everything to be made out of wood, or Legos! A lot of times, altars remind us about nature, the environment, a mood, or a place that we love. Things to consider putting in your special, sacred space:
Water: you can use a little bowl, cup, or jar to store some water in. Maybe it’s water from our water communion in September, maybe it’s from your garden, or your bathroom. Maybe it’s from rain.
Fire: this is our Flaming Chalice. Our flaming chalice with an electric candle or candle and matches, or even a construction paper or Lego flame, will help to remind us of the warmth of a loving heart and the light that we each hold.
Earth: do you love flowers? Or leaves? What about a rock? Maybe there’s a really cool stick that you picked up one day.
Air: do you love feathers? Or maybe it’s just some empty space, or a fan to help remind you about the breath.
Pictures or Paintings: a lot of times, you can include a picture of someone special. Maybe they aren’t here with you anymore. Or maybe it’s a picture of your family when you were having a really good time together. What about of a pet that you love? You can also include a picture or painting that you drew or colored.
Toys & Little Objects: are there any little objects that you can find? These are little things that cheer you up when you look at them. Maybe it’s a favorite stuffed animal. Just any little object you love will do.
A Book: Sometimes it’s really nice to put a book that you like to read or look at on an altar. This can be something that is familiar to you. Maybe there are calming words in it. Maybe there are colorful pictures. You can also put our hymnal on your altar. This way, when you feel like singing, you can easily find a song to sing.
Once you’ve gathered some objects, it’s time to find them a new home all together in a safe spot. You can put them on a bookshelf, a table, near a window, on top of a piano or coffee table. The point is to find a flat and stable surface where they can live. Sometimes it’s nice to put down a cloth on the surface. We call this an altar cloth.
Now that you’ve arranged your new sacred space, give yourself a hug! You’ve done such an amazing job making a new little loving zone for yourself. No matter how small or how big, how many or how few, you have a new special space.
Remember to spend time with your new special space. You can look at it, sit near it, and just stare. Let your eyes and your hands wander around and take in each little thing. You’ll have good memories from different objects. And you’ll have a space to breath in so many of the important things about your life. Where is your sacred space, and what do you love about it?
You can practice our chalice lighting there too:
We light this chalice to remind ourselves to treat all people kindly because they
are our siblings in spirit;
To take good care of the earth because it is our home;
And to try to live lives filled with goodness and love because that is how we will
become the best people we can be.
Blessing: May your sacred space be a reminder of the love inside of you and the love all around you. So may it be! Amen. Shalom. Salaam.