November 2018 WATERritual

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Breaking Silence

By Diann L. Neu and the WATER Staff

Welcome, and thank you for all of your work and for your resilience. Breathe! It has been a long couple of weeks. Most of us are exhausted from the stories of Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, #MeToo, the clergy sex abuse scandals, and much more. Breathe! We have heard stories. We have told stories. The silence of violence has been broken. Breathe!

How to we heal after we break silence?

We come together to nourish one another and heal our minds, bodies, and spirits. We gather with women, men, and children around the world to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Breathe!

Preparation

Form a circle of chairs, one for each participant, around a table. Place on this altar a candle for each person, four containers (shells or bowls) filled with oil, and a towel. Gather pictures of strong women (personal or online) and place them around your space.

Naming the Circle

Let us share our names and where we are geographically. (Naming)

Prayer

Let us each light a candle as a way of inviting the Holy/the Spirit to be with us now. (Lighting)

One: Compassionate One, you see us working hard speaking truth to power. Strengthen us.

All: Be with us now and always.

Two: Healing One, you know we are growing tired. Refresh us.

All: Be with us now and always.

Three: Loving One, you remind us we are not alone. Surround us with community.

All: Be with us now and always.

Song:

“Rise Up” by Andra Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNKu1uNBVkU

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up

I’ll rise like the day

I’ll rise up

I’ll rise unafraid

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

And I’ll rise up

High like the waves

I’ll rise up

In spite of the ache

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

For you

For you

For you

For you

When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
We’ll take it to its feet
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up

I’ll rise like the day

I’ll rise up

I’ll rise unafraid

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

For you

For you

For you

For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other

We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh oh
We’ll rise

I’ll Rise up

Rise like the day

I’ll rise up

In spite of the ache

I will rise a thousand times again

And we’ll rise up

Rise like the waves

We’ll rise up

In spite of the ache

We’ll rise up

And we’ll do it a thousand times again

For you oh oh oh oh oh

For you oh oh oh oh oh

For you oh oh oh oh oh

For you

Poem “Time” by Rupi Kaur.

Rupi Kaur is an Indian born Canadian poet, writer, illustrator, and performer. Her work focuses on themes of loss, trauma, healing, femininity, migration, and revolution. “Time” comes from her second book the sun and her flowers.

rise

said the moon

and the new day came

the show must go on said the sun

life does not stop for anybody

it drags you by the legs

whether you want to move forward or not

that is the gift

life will force you to forget how you long for them

your skin will shed till there is not

a single part of you left they’ve touched

your eyes finally just your eyes

not the eyes which held them

you will make it to the end

of what is only the beginning

go on

open the door to the rest of it

– time

Reflection

What are you doing to rise up? How are you allowing yourself to heal? (Sharing)

Prayers for Healing

Let us pray. Our response is: “we pray for healing.”

For anyone who has been abused physically, emotionally, economically, spiritually, or in any other way, we pray for healing.

For those who help heal the wounds of violence, we pray for healing.

For the children who witness domestic violence, we pray for healing.

For those who are undocumented and most vulnerable to abuse, we pray for healing.

For all survivors, that their strength may only increase, we pray for healing.

For friends and supporters who accompany survivors, we pray for healing.

For the increased will in church and society to call abusers to accountability, we pray for healing.

For what else shall we pray?

Blessing with Oil

In solidarity with people around the world, we call upon our ancestors of the North, East, South and West to bless and heal us, and all who need healing from violence.

(Hold oil) Blessed are you, Enduring Spirit of the North,

For soothing us with oil when cold winds chill us to the bone.

(Hold oil) Blessed are you, Comforting Sister of the East,

For refreshing us with oil when we need strength to renew our lives.

(Hold oil) Blessed are you, Gentle Wisdom of the South,

For warming us with oil and caressing us with cool breezes.

(Hold oil) Blessed are you, Healing Power of the West,

For easing our hurts and bruises with oil when we need to keep open to life’s changes.

Anointing with Oil

Those who feel called, step up to a bowl of oil with lavender for healing, dip in your fingers, and anoint yourself as is appropriate for your healing: face, hands, feet, heart, head. Please be careful with the oil near your eyes. Reclaim your healing powers for yourself and for others. (Anointing)

Song: “Blessing Song” by Miriam Therese Winter

May the blessing of God go before you.

May Her grace and peace abound.

May Her Spirit live within you.

May Her love wrap you ’round.

May Her blessing remain with you always.

May you walk on holy ground.

Take Action: Support the Violence Against Women Act

Contact your legislators and urge them to support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, one of the country’s most effective tools in responding to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Current VAWA legislation was set to expire at the end of September, but Congress passed temporary reauthorization that includes funding at 2018 levels through Dec. 7th.

We need members of Congress to understand that constituents want reauthorization that includes critical new provisions around housing, protection from abusers with guns, and justice for survivors on tribal lands. The Violence Against Women Act of 2018 (H.R. 6545) offers these modest expansions recommended by survivors, service providers and other experts.

Sending Forth

Let us go forth from this place

Strengthened by this community,

Committed to breaking the silence of violence,

And united in claiming our healing power.

Greeting of Peace

Knowing that our bodies have been hurt in many ways, let us greet one another carefully and lovingly with a healing look, touch, or embrace.

© 2018 Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER). Planned by Diann L. Neu dneu@hers.com, with Melissa Cedillo melissa@waterwomensalliance.org, Emily Neufeld emily@waterwomensalliance.org