The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists announces the 92nd in its monthly series of global chalice lighting readings. Congregations worldwide are invited to participate.
All ICUU-affiliated groups have been asked to submit brief chalice lightings for the project. Every month, a reading will be distributed to Unitarian and Universalist congregations around the world. We ask each congregation to use the reading for at least one worship service in the designated month, identifying it as the “Global Chalice Lighting” for that month and naming the group which submitted it. Readings will be circulated in English and, where different, in their original language.
It is hoped that the ICUU Global Chalice Lighting Project will enhance the worship experience in our congregations and raise awareness of the international dimensions of our religious movement.
This Global Chalice Lighting is distributed by the ICUU in response to the recent Japanese earthquake and its aftermath. In popular Japanese mythology earthquakes are caused by the great fish, Namazu, who lies imprisoned underground beneath a huge stone. This reading is to be used during April 2011.
AFTER THE GREAT WAVE
For Japan, March 2011
Namazu, the Great Fish, stirs
and the earth quakes.
Tsunami, the Great Wave, races
to the shore.
Harbours are engulfed, and towns
and villages and farmlands.
The fragile, perilous works of humankind
are assailed and shaken.
Nature’s power and human folly have
People are filled with fear. They suffer
ruin, devastation, and death.
Human weakness is exposed. We feel
helpless in the face of so much grief,
so much suffering.
And yet we cannot afford ourselves
the luxury of despair.
We are here to say that, in us, the
universe cares for its children.
We are here to reach out in love
to the people of Japan;
to unite our spirits with theirs in an affirmation
of hope beyond apocalypse.
And to do what we can.
And so we kindle our sacred flame.
-Rev. Cliff Reed
16th March 2011