As humans, we grow and we change, we grieve and we celebrate. Let Blessing It All be your guide to foster meaning and community as you mark the moments in your life.

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Product Code: 7730
ISBN: 9781558969209
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Pages: 456
Size: 10 x 7
Published Date: 06/04/2024
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $24.00

As humans, we grow and we change, we grieve and we celebrate. Let Blessing It All be your guide to foster meaning and community as you mark the moments in your life.

Our personal lives and the lives of our communities are marked by moments of transition and transformation. As individuals, we grow up, we move, we start new schools and new jobs, we begin and end relationships, we have children and if we are lucky we get to watch them grow, we lose people we love, and we discover more about who we are. As communities, we honor people entering new life stages, we reckon with natural disasters and national traumas, and year after year we mark the cycles of the seasons.

Traditionally, we often mark birth, marriage, and death, and yet these are not the only moments that touch our lives and shape who we are. In this stunning collection, editors and ministers Heather Concannon and Allison Palm and contributors invite you to bless it all—moments that are ordinary and profound, tender and heartbreaking, joyful and celebratory, and everything in between.

An expansive collection, the rituals in Blessing It All foster community, joy, and healing in moments like the joining of a blended family, changing names and pronouns, honoring Pride Month, having an abortion, getting a prosthesis, surviving sexual assault, ending a marriage, and so many others.

The rituals—written by a diverse array of contributors with lived experiences that add depth and authenticity to each offering—are designed to be led by anyone inspired to do so, with clear instructions and additional insights and guidance. They are suitable for communities, congregations, family, and individual use. And they can happen anywhere our lives happen, wherever people or families or communities gather, because that is where we encounter the holy.

May you find connection and commitment, inspiration and invitation, a blessing and a balm in these rituals.


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Introduction
Handle with Care: Context and Covenant for Rituals
Practical Tips for Rituals
Permissions and Guidelines for Adaptations


Rituals for Individuals and Families
Grounding and Centering
For Daily Reflection
For a New Year
For Everyday Adventures
For Discernment
For Entering and Exiting Silence

Milestone Moments
For Preparing to Give Birth
For Adoption
For Weaning
For Starting at a New School
For Life Transitions for a Person with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder
For Coming Out
For Affirming Names and Pronouns
For Release from Prison, Jail, or Detention
For Retirement

Partnership
For the Union of More Than Two Partners
For Acknowledging Community in a Wedding
For a Blended Family
For Separation or Divorce (for Both Partners)
For Separation or Divorce (for an Individual)
For a Partner Near the End of Life

Creating Home
For Blessing a New Home
For Bidding Farewell to a Home
For Blessing a Temporary Home After Disaster

Blessing Our Bodie
For Assisted Conception
For Abortion
For Planned Hospitalization
For a Hysterectomy
For Beginning Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy
For Gender Affirmation Surgery
For a Service Dog Partnership
For an Assistive Device
For Head Shaving during Chemotherapy
For a Loved One with Dementia or Cognitive Decline

Grief and Memory
For Losing a Wanted Pregnancy
For a Baby Who Has Died or Will Soon Die
For Blessing a Body after Death
For Blessing a Space Where a Loved One Has Died
For the Dedication of a Memorial Bench or Tree
For the First Anniversary of a Death
For Burying or Scattering the Ashes of a Pet

Rituals for Congregations and Communities
Healing, Hope, and Blessing
For Mending a Broken Covenant
For Honoring Grief and Gratitude
For Letting Go
For Those Living on the Threshold of Significant Change
For Honoring Elders
For Carrying Hope after Collective Loss
For Honoring Our Connection to Water
For Saying Goodbye to a Sacred Space
For Breaking Ground on a Building Project
For Blessing a New or Renovated Church Building
For the Days following a Natural Disaster
For the End of a Natural Disaster Season
For the First Anniversary of a Natural Disaster

Seasons and Cycles
For Blessing Backpacks
For Beginning and Ending a Congregational Year
For Celebrating the Harvest
For Coming Out Day
For Veterans Day
For Transgender Day of Remembrance
For the Season of Creative Dormancy
For Grief during the Winter Holidays
For the Winter Solstice
For a New Year
For Earth Day
For Acknowledging Mother’s, Father’s, and Parents’ Days
For Pride

Working for Justice
For Blessing the Organizers
For Direct Action
For Nourishing Justice Makers
For Lamenting and Setting Intentions to Heal White Supremacy Culture
For Blessing a Congregational Black Lives Matter Banner
For Survivors of Sexual Assault and Harassment
For Trauma in the News

Crafting Your Own Rituals

Introduction

Our personal lives and the lives of our communities are marked by moments of transition and transformation. As individuals, we grow up, we move, we start new schools and new jobs, we begin and end relationships, we have children and if we are lucky we get to watch them grow, we discover more about who we are, we lose people and pets. As communities, we honor people entering new life stages, we acknowledge harm and seek repair, we reckon with natural disasters and national traumas, and year after year we mark the cycles of the seasons. As humans, we grow and we change, we grieve and we celebrate.

Often we mark only the big moments—birth and death, becoming an adult and committing to a partner. And yet, these are not the only moments that touch our lives and shape who we are. In this book, you will find rituals for those other moments, for the moments that come around again and again—in the cycle of the year, in the cycle of life, in the cycle of the universe. With this book, we invite you to bless it all—the big and the small, the happy and the sad, and everything in between.

The rituals in this book are for moments that are ordinary and profound, tender and heartbreaking, joyful and celebratory, and often a little bit of each. They are for moments of transition and loss, transformation and growth. They are for communities, congregations, friends, small groups, families, and individuals. They are meant to be done in church sanctuaries and basements, in living rooms, in the woods, in the streets, in hospital rooms, in backyards and online, because we know that the moments that we need to ground ourselves, to connect with something larger than ourselves, and to mark a loss or a joy happen anywhere. These rituals happen where our lives happen, wherever people or families or communities gather, because we know that is where we encounter the holy.

What you’ll find in these pages ranges from standalone blessings to full liturgies. The rituals in this book were written by a wide variety of Unitarian Universalists—ministers, religious professionals, and laypeople. The vast majority of our contributors have lived experiences of the circumstances for which they wrote the rituals to offer depth and authenticity, and have generously shared their experiences in hopes that they may speak to others in similar circumstances.

This book is for you: for worship leaders and religious professionals, for families and loved ones, for parents and children, for all who have rejoiced in new life, who have mourned a loss, who have struggled to find the words to name what transformation was taking place in your hearts.

May you find in these pages connection and commitment, inspiration and invitation, a blessing and a balm.

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