Our thanks to Marcella Kraybill-Greggo for sharing this outline. Marcella and her interns created this in its original form with the intention of providing and holding a collective ‘dwelling place for Wisdom’ on behalf of the nation and the world at the time of transition marked by the Presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017. The liturgy has been adapted for wider use in the following format. Please use or modify according to the intention and needs of your group.
Into a Moment of Silence
NOTE to LEADERS: The original form of this event was held on January 20, 2017, at Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, PA. Marcella Kraybill-Greggo and her Wisdom interns created and anchored the event, which lasted about two and half hours in its entirety. The outline below has been reduced somewhat as the original program included a station for walking a labyrinth as well as the other stations. Marcella has provided a sample of the stations as well as the other tools used. Blessings and enjoy!
1. Welcome and Centering Prayer (approx. 30 minutes)
- Gospel of Thomas Reading, such as Logion 33 below (or an alternative reading to fit your event)
What you hear with one ear,
listen to with both,
and then proclaim from the roof tops.
For no one lights a lamp and then hides it away.
It is placed on a lamp-stand instead
where those who pass by may see by its light.
- Body Prayer (an example with full outline and video can be found HERE)
- Chant (such as the beautiful chant by Kristy Christian Petrow “Love Says” available HERE)
- Centering Prayer (suggested 20 minute sit)
2. Wisdom Teaching and Discussion/Debrief (approx. 20 minutes)
An example is the teaching offered by Cynthia Bourgeault following the US election, November 2016, available HERE (suggested 0:58 – 3.57). Any short Wisdom teaching in written, audio, or video format can be used and discussed.
3. Stations of Wisdom (approx. 1 hour, but can be trimmed or expanded as needed)
NOTE: It may be helpful to have someone close by each station to assist participants who are unclear on the instruction. The goal is to have attendees feel at ease. Also, it’s suggested that participants move about the stations as they felt moved. No time limits! This PDF outline of the Stations of Wisdom Handouts was created for each station. The handouts include Wisdom quotes and questions to encourage further contemplation by the seeker. The stations are:
- FOR POST HOLDING: Including a visual or gesture is helpful. For example, a visual might include providing a basket of candles or twigs (about 8” in length) to be placed as a symbolic Wisdom post into a large bowl of sand. These provide a symbolic embodiment of “holding our Wisdom post.” Have the handout or someone to assist nearby the bowl of sand.
- FOR COURAGE: Select a visual of your choosing and have the handout or someone to assist nearby.
- FOR PEACE: Again, select a visual and provide the handout or someone to assist nearby.
4. MASS on the WORLD
A shortened adaptation of Teilhard de Chardin’s Mass on the World by Cynthia Bourgeault can be found HERE.
5. Final Closing Prayer
We used the body prayer once again to invite the alignment of the three centers. Available HERE.
As we learn to open ourselves deeply to this mysterious Source, help will always come, for the Source “leans and harkens towards us” with a tenderness of love that is both the medium and the message. ~ Cynthia Bourgeault
(it may be useful to make the following outline available to help guide those participating)
1. Welcome and Centering Prayer
Opening in the tradition of Wisdom School:
- Gospel of Thomas Reading
- Body Prayer
- Centering Prayer for 20 minutes
2. Wisdom Teaching and Discussion/Debrief
3. Stations of Wisdom including Explanation and Experience
- FOR HOLDING ONE’S POST
Wisdom Post Station: place a symbolic Wisdom post into the bowl of sand. These provide a symbolic embodiment of ‘holding our Wisdom post’. Also ponder the quotes and contemplative questions placed here.
Wisdom Stations for Contemplation and Prayer: Each of the three stations have a sheet of paper with Wisdom quotes and contemplative questions for pondering:
- FOR COURAGE – Ponder the quotes and contemplative questions placed here.
- FOR PEACE – Ponder the quotes and contemplative questions placed here.
4. MASS on the WORLD by Teilhard de Chardin – adaptation by Cynthia Bourgeault
5. Final Closing Prayer
A PDF of this full outline including the Leader’s Guide and Participants Outline available to download and print HERE.
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