March 2023 WATERritual
Honoring World Water Day
By Diann L. Neu and WATER Staff
“…let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
– Amos 5:24
Follow along with the liturgy here.
Preparation: Have nearby a glass of water to drink, as well as two cups of water, paper towels, scissors, and 1-7 washable markers.
Call to Gather
Welcome to this WATERritual, “Honoring World Water Day.” The Spring Equinox which took place yesterday, March 20 at 5:24 PM ET, marked the point in time when the sun sat directly over the Earth’s equator as it heads northward. Both hemispheres shared the sun’s rays equally at the equinox yesterday, when night and day were roughly the same length.
March 22 marks the 30th anniversary of World Water Day and calls attention to the very precious resource of water. Water is life. It is a life sustainer. It makes plants grow, creates homes for fishes and butterflies, and offers us a cool drink. Everyone and everything need water. All nations require a safe, plentiful supply of water. Perhaps all planets do too.
Our circle today is not limited to those of us here on this Zoom ritual, but includes all living things that need water: not only people, but plants, animals, fungi, microscopic bacteria. The world needs oceans, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, wells, mudpuddles, spring protections, rainwater tanks, small dams, sanitation, and hygiene for all. We need water that is safe, clean, reliable, and free. Without water, life as we know it would not exist. And life exists wherever there is water.
We gather for a ritual to restore our personal, collective, and international balance. Let us pause and take a drink of water as we celebrate the return of spring, give thanks for the life-giving element of water, and pray for healing of all waters. Let us open our hearts towards water, towards life, remembering this element of water unites us all.
Song: Algonquin Water Song
Phonetic pronunciation of the lyrics:
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
“He Na Tye Woman” by Paula Gunn Allen, (1939 – 2008), Native American poet of the Laguna Pueblo, literary critic, activist, professor, and novelist, from Shadow Country, © 1982.
Lakes and rivers.
Oceans and streams.
Springs, pools and gullies.
Arroyos, creeks, watersheds.
Pacific. Atlantic. Mediterranean.
Indian. Caribbean. China Sea.
(Lying. Dreaming on shallow shores.)
Arctic. Antarctic. Baltic.
Mississippi. Amazon. Columbia. Nile.
Thames. Sacramento. Snake. (Undulant woman river.)
Seine. Rio Grande. Willamette. McKenzie. Ohio.
Hudson. Po. Rhine. Rhone.
Rain. After a lifetime of drought.
That finally cleanses the air.
The soot from our eyes.
The dingy windows of our western home.
The rooftops and branches. The wings of birds.
The new light on a slant. Pouring. Making everything new.
Video: Water and Climate change – The United Nations World Water Development Report 2020
“Women, Water, Spirit” by Cecelia Rose – NIGIG-ENZ BAAPI – ᓂᑭᑫᓐᔅᐹᐦᐱ, Little Laughing Otter of Lake Superior Ojibway.
Anishinaabekwe was born into the water,
Around Gitchee Gumee,
Around Odawa Gaming,
Around Chi Nibiish Zaa’igan,
Around Wahbeshkego Kecegame,
She carries the water in a copper bucket,
For her people,
She touches the water,
For her people,
She sees the water,
For her children,
She listens to the water,
For her community,
What does the water say?
How does the water feel?
If it is hurt?
She feels her heart,
It is connected to the water,
To her home,
We hold hands around these waters,
We hold hands in unity,
We hold hands for healing.
We hold hands for justice,We hold hands as keepers of the water.
Reflection & Sharing
Take a drink of water. What are your reflections about water in light of the Spring Equinox and World Water Day?
Video: Why Care About Water by National Geographic
Take Action to Save Water
The theme of World Water Day 2023, “Accelerate Change,” encourages us to take action in our own lives to change the way we use, consume, and manage water. Here are ways we can save water.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
- Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
- Use a low flow shower head and faucet aerators.
- Don’t overwater your lawn or water during peak periods.
- Save rain water for outdoor watering (for example: Install a rain barrel).
- Share your knowledge about saving water through conservation and efficiency with your neighbors.
- Large quantities of water are required for the production of clothing. Try to buy as much clothing as possible second hand.
- Wash ingredients for cooking in a large bowl to save water
- Color the Mní Wičoni page at the end of this script.
- Create water art as Patrice will show us in this video she made, since she could not be with us tonight.
Water Art to Grow a Rainbow by Patrice Rupp
Let’s close by doing water art to grow a rainbow. Gather your paper towels, scissors, washable markers (1-6), and two cups of water. Additionally, put a paper towel or cloth underneath your water art.
Step 1: Gather your materials and place two low cups with water side by side on a flat surface.
Step 2: Cut a paper towel in two halves so that the edges will fit inside your water cup just touching the bottom, not ever overlapping.
Step 3: Use your washable markers (1 or more) to create a rainbow grid on both ends of the paper towel.
Step 4: Place each end of the paper towel into your two water cups. Make sure the towel stays close to the surface.
Step 5: Watch your water grow a rainbow! Water is responsible for miracles just like rainbows!
Step 6: Practice creating rainbows after this ritual. Kids and adults will love it!
Song: “Wade in the Water,” sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock
Chorus: Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water.
See those children all dressed up in white, God’s gonna trouble the water.
They must be the children of the Israelites, God’s gonna trouble the water. Chorus
See those children dressed in black, God’s gonna trouble the water.
They come a long way ain’t turnin’ back, God’s gonna trouble the water.
See the children they dressed up in blue, God’s gonna trouble the water.
Look like my people they comin’ on thru, God’s gonna trouble the water. Chorus
See those children dressed in red, God’s gonna trouble the water.
Must be the children that Moses led, God’s gonna trouble the water.
See those children all dressed in green, God’s gonna trouble the water.
They movin’ down to that Jordan stream, God’s gonna trouble the water. Chorus
Wading in the water, let us pray:
For the world and its leaders, that those in authority may have the courage to change the ways their countries use, consume, fight over, and manage water.
For our families, communities, and friends, that we may utilize water wisely so that every living thing has enough water to live.
For those most affected by the choices we make, those who are made poor, those who are unhoused, those without food or meaningful work, those who are ill, that they may have access to safe, clean water.
For us, that we may we recognize the gift of water and work to conserve this precious resource.
Amen. Blessed be. May It Be So.
© 2023 Diann L. Neu, email@example.com, with Pamella Miller and Patrice Rupp