Parents: Small Group Ministry | Topic: Prayer and Rituals

Parents SGM
Topic: Prayer and Rituals

Chalice Lighting:
The light of the ages has brought wisdom and truth to all peoples, in all times of human history. We light this flame to remind us to seek wisdom in our own time.– Dan Harper

Opening Reading:

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang up my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I knew that little things are special things.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I LOOKED….and wanted to say thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.


Ritual is not just for special occasions but also for every day, every meal, every bath, and every bedtime story. In ritual, little is big: Although dress-up holidays with lavish feasts are fun, it’s the everyday traditions that determine how we experience our families and demonstrate hands-on love to our children. Intuitively, we know this is good, and consciously pass down beloved traditions from our own childhoods. But the power of ritual and the need for it are far stronger than we realize.

What rituals do you incorporate into your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly lives with your children that impart values? Why do rituals and prayers? What values are important to you, which you would like to impart to your children? What rituals would you like to include in your families lives, but haven’t yet and why?

Prayer can be for taking time to be present for that gracious spirit and aware of the gifts that come to and through us simply because we are alive. One word for this time of presence is gratitude. Another word is meditation, in which, by observing our breathing, we become ever more aware of creation in process. In addition, prayer is theological reflection and social strategy, alone and in groups. This leads to a return of gifts bestowed, as in the wonderful Universalist affirmation, which we cherish in our communal worship, “Love is our doctrine, the quest for truth is our sacrament and service is our prayer…”.

How do you pray? Why do you pray? What role does prayer play in your life? Do you pray? What do you feel it teaches your children?
How did you acquire the rituals and prayers that you use with your family?

Closing Reading:
Sometimes we’re so concerned about giving our children what we never had growing up, we neglect to give them what we did have growing up. ~ Dr. James Dobson

Closing Ritual:
Stand in a circle holding hands around chalice.
Recite chalice extinguishing.
“We extinguish this flame but not the light of truth, the warmth of community or the fire of commitment. These we carry in our hearts until we meet again” Give a gentle squeeze of the hands and release.



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