Flower Communion - 19 June 2016
We joined together for our annual celebration of Flower Communion, reflecting on what we give and receive within our Beloved Community. The service was based on the Flower Communion created in 1923 by Norbert Capek, ‘to give concrete expression to the humanity-affirming principles of our liberal faith. Capek was a gentle man who suffered a cruel death, but his message of human hope and decency lives on through his Flower Communion, which is widely celebrated by Unitarians today’. Worship on 19 June was led by Jill Woolman and Tom Stamper. On this page, we record this service in photographs, and with two prayers written by Norbert Capek. The first is the flower communion prayer, and the second is a prayer that he wrote before his death at the hands of the Nazis.
Flower Communion Prayer
by Norbert Capek
In the name of Providence, which implants in the seed the future of the tree and in the hearts of men [and women] the longing for people living in [human] love; in the name of the highest, in whom we move and who makes the mother [and father], the brother and sister what they are; in the name of sages and great religious leaders, who sacrificed their lives to hasten the coming of [peace and justice]--let us renew our resolution--sincerely to be real brothers and sisters regardless of any kind of bar which estranges [one from another]. In this holy resolution may we be strengthened, knowing that we are God's family, that one spirit, the spirit of love, unites us, and [may we] endeavour for a more perfect and more joyful life.
Just before he was put to death in Dachau, Dr Capek wrote this prayer, reflecting on his own life and the state of his spirit.
It is worthwhile to live and fight courageously for sacred ideals.
Oh blow ye evil winds into my body's fire; my soul you'll never unravel.
Even though disappointed a thousand times or fallen in the fight and everything would worthless seem,
I have lived amidst eternity.
Be grateful, my soul,
My life was worth living.
He who was pressed from all sides but remained victorious in spirit is welcomed into the choir of heroes.
He who overcame the fetters giving wing to the mind is entering into the golden age of the victorious.
Water Communion Service - 4 September 2016
On the first Sunday in September, we will gather to celebrate a water communion ceremony during the service. You are invited to bring along a small quantity of water from a source of your choice, which is in some way significant to you. It may be exotic waters from a refreshing holiday (if you plan to bring it home in carry-on luggage on a flight remember to use a travel size container!) or from a puddle on the pavement outside your home. Water can be stored in emptied and cleaned drinks containers with screw on tops. If you collect your water very far ahead of time, you may want to store it in the freezer to prevent microbes from growing. Remember to leave room for frozen water to expand. Each person will have the opportunity to share a personal reflection on the water they have brought and add it to the communal water vessel. There will also be a jug of locally sourced water available, so that anyone who does not bring water will be able to participate.