July 2019 WATERritual: Hand in Hand: Imagine

July 2019 WATERritual 

Hand in Hand: Imagine 

By Diann L. Neu and the WATER staff

Blessed are these hands when they…

Imagine the many ways you are connected to family, friends, and colleagues around the world. Hands reach out and link you to others. 

This liturgy invites you to imagine yourself hand in hand with loved ones wherever they live.

Preparation

Choose your favorite hand-made object, and put it in a special place near you. Pick a treasured gift, a pottery vessel, a weaving, a quilt, jewelry, an article of clothing. Or gather photos of you and loved ones. Invite a friend or several to join you if you like. Play music of your choice if you wish. Rest your body in a comfortable place, relax, and imagine.

Centering

As we begin this blessing of our hands, may we center ourselves through our five senses, mindful that our hands especially provide a unique way to experience our sense of touch.

First, notice five things you see. Name each item in your mind. Maybe you look at your hands. Take in the sights around you. Allow a moment to reflect.

Next, notice four things you feel. Maybe you clasp your hands together and notice the feeling of your skin. Maybe you feel the texture of your clothing or the seat you’re sitting on. Allow a moment to reflect.

Next, notice three things you hear. Maybe it’s the sound of your breathing. Maybe it’s something off in the distance. Allow a moment to reflect.

Move on to notice two things you smell. Maybe your hands or your clothing carry a scent. Allow a moment to reflect.

Lastly, notice one thing you taste. Maybe you take a sip of a drink nearby. If nothing is nearby, imagine the taste of something you love. Allow a moment to reflect.

Now that we’ve centered ourselves using our senses, imagine that you are hand in hand with dear friends, near and far away. Through the centuries, the creative and healing power of the Divine has been represented through the gestures of the human hand.

Naming the Circle

Share your name, where you are from, and something you are thankful you can do with your hands.

Bless Your Hands

Think of the lives your hands have touched and the incredible work you do.

Blessed are my hands when they nurture creativity and cradle new life.

Blessed are my hands when they care for Earth, recycle, and grow gardens.

Blessed are my hands when they protect my loved ones.

            Response: Look at your hands. Rub them together. Feel the warmth. Place your hands on any part of your body that needs energy or healing.

Bless the Hands of Friendship

Remember the many ways you and your friends join hands together.

Blessed are my hands when they embrace with love, respect, and dignity.

Blessed are my hands when they comfort a loved one living with illness, disabilities, cancer, HIV/AIDS, or pain-filled uncertainties.

Blessed are my hands when they reach out in understanding to sustain friendships.

            Response: Look at your hands. Rub them together. Feel the warmth. Place your hands on any part of your body that needs energy or healing.

Bless the Hands of Justice

Think of those whose hands bring about love, mercy, and justice.

Blessed are my hands when they care for those who are aged, infirmed, lonely, desperate.

Blessed are my hands when they stop violence, vote for equality, and bring about social change.

Blessed are my hands when they hold banners, signs of solidarity, or circles of community.

            Response: Look at your hands. Rub them together. Feel the warmth. Place your hands on any part of your body that needs energy or healing.

Bless the Summer Season

Think of all the emotions that you experience: wonder, alienation, doubt, excitement, dread, ecstasy, hope, and others. Acknowledge these feelings as part of yourself.

Blessed are my hands when they open tightly clenched fists to let go of fears and reach out with trust.

Blessed are my hands when they feel the warmth of sunshine, the coolness of water, and experience new places.

Blessed are my hands when they (add your own).

            Response: Look at your hands. Rub them together. Feel the warmth. Place your hands on any part of your body that needs energy or healing.

Reflect | Meditate | Journal 

What invitations and challenges did you hear in this blessing of your hands? When will you reach out to a family member or friend, visit someone in a nursing home or an elderly person who lives at home, comfort a friend who is living with cancer or who is seriously ill?

Take Action with Your Hands

~ Pick flowers and give a bouquet to a friend.

~ Pull weeds, compost, and beautify your yard.

~ Hug a child and say, “I love you.”

~ Hand write a thank you note to someone with whom you enjoyed spending time.

~ Go swimming and feel the refreshing water on your hands and whole body.

~ Massage your hands. According to the ancient healing technique of hand reflexology, you can heal your whole body when you massage the palms of your hands because you target key zones of your body to relieve stress, tension, and imbalances.

Learn More from These Resources

~ Look at a hand reflexology chart to learn more about healing. You can google this.

~ Google “hand massage” and watch a video to learn how to give a hand massage.

~ Kullman, Susan and Marvelle Thompson. Blessed Are These Hands: An Exploration and Celebrations of Women’s Values. Claremont, CA: blurb.com, 2010.

 

© 2019 Diann L. Neu, WATER: Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, dneu@hers.com