March 2022 WATERritual: Come to Waters of Peace on World Water Day

March 22, 2022 WATERritual

“Come to Waters of Peace on World Water Day”

By Diann L. Neu

Watch the March 2022 WATERritual.

Preparation: Have a pitcher of water, a bowl, and a towel near.

Call to Gather

Welcome. I begin with a land acknowledgement: We at WATER are on indigenous land in Silver Spring, Maryland, the traditional and contemporary land of the Piscataway and Anacostan peoples. We are committed to making clear the names of these lands and the community members from these nations who reside alongside us. We acknowledge the trauma that is deeply imbedded in the foundation of this country. We affirm the right of all people to bring their whole selves and their stories into this space.

Today we “Come to Waters of Peace on World Water Day.” We gather to focus our attention and prayers on water and peace, and the need to preserve them because they are both necessary for life. Using the symbol of water, we call forth a blessing of peace from the spirits of the universe so that all wars will cease, especially the war in Ukraine. We pray desperately for peace and healing.

Our circle is huge tonight because we are inviting into it all living things that need water: people, plants, animals, and all life throughout the universe, and tonight especially, all in Ukraine. The world needs oceans, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, water wells, spring protection, rainwater tanks, small dams, sanitation, and hygiene for all. We all need water that is safe, clean, reliable, and free. We all need waters of peace.

Type in the chat why you need water. Finish the sentence: “I need and bless water because . . . ”

Sound Healing: Small Stream with Gentle Sound of Running Water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHCvL8UgOyw

Invoking the Spirits

We gather from the four corners of Earth, from the seven directions of the wind, to remember all people who come to the waters today.

We call on the Spirits of the East, North, West, South, Above, Below, and Center to shower us and Earth with their blessings, especially their gifts of peace and safe, clean, and reliable water.

East                                                                      

O Great Spirit of the East, Power of Air!
We invoke you and praise your name.

Breath of Life, Creator of Dawn, Faithful Rising Sun, Come!
By the air that is your breath, send forth your light of peace.

O Great Spirit of the East,
be here now as we remember people of the East:
people groping for peace in the Middle East;
people struggling for justice in Taiwan;
people migrating to find food in Ethiopia.

Pour water into your bowl.

Spirit of the East, bless us with your peace, and restore all waters of the East!

North

O Great Spirit of the North, Power of Earth!
We invoke you and praise your name.

Mysterious North Star, Fierce Winter Wind, Nourishing Earth Mother, Come!
By the Earth that is your body, send forth your strength for peace.

O Great Spirit of the North,
be here now as we remember those of the North:
people protecting the wilderness heritage of Canada;
indigenous people fighting for economic survival in Alaska;
people creating a social and equitable society in Sweden.

Pour water into your bowl.

Spirit of the North, bless us with your peace, and restore all waters of the North.

Song: “Wade in the Water”

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water.

West

O Great Spirit of the West, Power of Water!
We invoke you and praise your name.

Cycle of Change, Ever-Colorful Sunset, Peaceful Night Wonder, Come!
By the waters of your womb, send forth your ebb and flow of peace.

O Great Spirit of the West,
be here now as we remember the people of the West:
people fighting for their life in Ukraine;
people working for religious, economic, and political justice in Ireland;
people finding new ways trade can go on in a just and equitable manner in common market countries.

Pour water into your bowl.

Spirit of the West, bless us with your power and restore all waters of the West.

South

O Great Spirit of the South, Power of Fire!
We invoke you and praise your name.

Flame of Justice, Torch in the Night, Liberator of the Oppressed, Come!
By the fire that is your passion, send forth your flame of peace.

O Great Spirit of the South,
be here now as we remember women, men, and children of the South:
Mothers of the Disappeared working for human rights in El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina, and Chile;
the Aboriginal communities protecting Dreamtime stories in Australia;
people crying for freedom in Sierra Leone.

Pour water into the bowl.

Spirit of the South, bless us with your peace, and restore all waters of the South.

Song: “Wade in the Water”

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water.

Above

O Great Spirit of Above, Power of the Sky!
We invoke you and praise your name.

Dreamer of Visions, Soaring Mother Eagle, Cloud of Unknowing, Come!
By the sky that is your presence, send forth your vision of peace.

Be here now as we remember people of vision:
the elderly living with wisdom in every culture;
feminist leaders with courage and insight in every religion;
people who work to keep peace in every country.

Pour water into your bowl.

Spirit of Above, bless us with your peace, and restore all waters.

Below

O Great Spirit of Below, Power of the Sea!
We invoke you and praise your name.

Hidden Treasure, Undiscovered Food Source, Connector of Continents, Come!
By the sea that is your depth, send forth your revelation for peace.

O Great Spirit of Below,
be here now as we remember those who have endured:
loved ones who have died of every age and in every family;
people dying from and living with cancer in every country;
those killed in unjust wars in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Central America, Middle East, Southeast Asia, China, everywhere.

Pour water into your bowl.

Spirit of Below, bless us with your peace, and restore the waters.

Song: “Wade in the Water”

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water.

Center

O Great Spirit of Everything That Is Center, Power of the Spirit!
We invoke you and praise your name.

Rock of Ages, Untapped Energy, Enduring Strength, Come!
By the mountains that are your integrity, send forth your sacred peace.

O Great Spirit of Everything That Is Center,
be here now as we remember women, men, and children who work for integrity:
caregivers to those who are disadvantaged and unhoused in every city;
teachers and exemplars to youth in every nation;
those who do the hard and thankless tasks—road builders, street sweepers,
mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, those who bury the dead in every society.

Pour water into the bowl.

Spirit of Everything Center, bless us with your power, and restore all waters.

Song: “Wade in the Water”

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water.

Words of Healing to the Waters

Let us send words of restoration to all waters by saying the words “Healing—Cleansing—New Life” together in our own places nine times to allow our intention to create this in all waters.

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life

Healing—Cleansing—New Life


Group Sharing

What is your prayer for peace and healing on this World Water Day?


Blessing the Waters

Come! Let us gather around waters of peace.
You who are thirsty, come to the water.
You who are in need of peace from war, come to the water.
You who are inquisitive, come to the water.
You who are in need of hospitality, come to the water.

What do you need? Tell us in a word and we will invite you to the waters of peace. Needs.

We have filled our vessels with waters of the East, North, West, South, Above, Below, and Center. Extend your hands outward, and let us bless this water. Send your gratitude and peace to the water.

Blessed is this water that quenches our thirst and refreshes our bodies,
gives birth to our children and heals our wounds, washes our clothes and dishes,
wakes us up in the morning, and cooks our food. Blessed is this life-giving water.

 

Blessing with Water

Let us bless ourselves and one another with this water. Take this blessed water into your hands. With this blessing we bring healing, cleansing, and new life to this water and symbolically to all waters, to ourselves, and to one another.

Bless yourself with water, saying, “Healing—Cleansing—New Life.”
Bless the people in your household and work place, saying, “Healing—Cleansing—New Life.”
Bless the people of Ukraine, saying, “Healing—Cleansing—New Life.”


Take Action

Let us put our prayers into action for water this month. Here are some possible ways.

. Clean up trash around water in your area—a stream, river, pond, lake, well.

. Keep track of how much water you use each day. Challenge yourself and your family to use less by taking shorter showers and shutting water off when you brush your teeth.

. Think of ways you can reuse water, such as bathwater to water gardens or plants.

. Check for water leaks around your house and fix them.

. Visit an ocean, lake, river, aquarium, and see how many living creatures and plants there are that depend solely on water.


Sending Forth

Filled with the waters of life and peace, let us go forth to love the waters of the world, the waters in our blood and bodies, and in one another.

Let us go forth to all corners of the universe where the works of peace and change are desperately needed, especially in Ukraine.

Let us go forth to protect, heal, renew, and give thanks for all water supplies.

Let us go forth to treasure the precious gift of water and the precious gift of peace.

Let us sing the “Water Song” with our Algonquin sisters and grandmothers.

Song: Algonquin Water Song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC2FHciQ0sU&ab_channel=SingTheWaterSong

“Nee bee wah bow En die en Aah key mis kquee Nee bee wah bow Hey ya hey ya hey ya hey Hey ya hey ya hey ya ho.”

Pour the water onto plants to refresh them.

 

Learn More from These Resources

Emoto, Dr. Masaru. The Hidden Messages in Water. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc., 2004.

Games and activities for kids: https://kidworldcitizen.org/celebrate-world-water-day-with-games-and-activities-for-all-ages/

Neu, Diann L. Return Blessings: Eco-Feminist Liturgies Renewing the Earth. Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 2002.

Water and toilets: https://www.wateraid.org/

Zenner, Christiana. Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and Fresh Water Crises, revised edition. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018.

 

© 2022 Diann L. Neu, dneu@hers.com, adapted from Stirring WATERS: Feminist Liturgies for Justice (Liturgical Press, 2020)