March 2024 WATERritual

Pray with Us to Welcome Spring Renewal

By Diann L. Neu and WATER Staff

Watch the WATERritual here on YouTube.

Preparation: Have some herbs nearby.

Call to Gather

Welcome to our March 2024 WATERritual: “Pray with Us to Welcome Spring Renewal.”

Spring arrives each year about March 21 or September 21, depending on your location. This Vernal Equinox is one of the four seasonal shifts based on the sun’s elliptic relationship to the celestial equator of Earth. On this day both night and day are in complete balance. Light and dark are equal: twelve hours each. Spring officially begins. This is the day the ancient Chinese balanced eggs on end to welcome spring. Spring festivals, including Easter, Ramadan, and Passover, celebrate rebirth and renewal. Let’s pause and remember how the indigenous peoples of the lands on which we sit might have celebrated spring.

In 2024, perhaps more than any other time in recent history, the world needs a spring.
We need a rebirth of love and peace for humanity, for the people of Palestine and the families of the Israelis who lost loved ones in the October terror attack. We need a cease-fire!
We need spring, a renewal for the people of Ukraine who are suffering from the evil hand of Russia’s military invasion.
We need spring for the United States of America, where democracy is under attack and an oligarch and dictator is marching for control of government.
We need spring for the migrants at the border looking for a better life.
We need spring for the marginalized, unhoused, and incarcerated Americans.
We need spring for minimum wage workers caring for their families who can barely make ends meet.
We need a new spring to protect the environment, for the victims of the raging fires in Texas and the storms in California, and for the melting glaciers.

The beauty of spring is that it gives us hope that our dreams can be realized. Spring brings new life, and opens new avenues. Spring gives us joy and things to cheer about — from the beauty of the bunnies hopping around, to the cherry blossoms, daffodils, hyacinths, and flowering plants bursting into life in vibrant colors. Spring brings rebirth and strengthens us to overcome whatever adversity presents a hurdle in our way.

We thank Mother Earth for the joy it gives us at springtime. We thank Mother God for Her awesome, unique and beautiful creation of the seasons. We thank Her for this Spring Equinox, and we welcome spring renewal.


Centering Prayer: “We Give-Away Our Thanks,” by Dolores LaChapelle
Let us pray:
We give-away our thanks to the Earth
which gives us our home.
We give-away our thanks to the rivers and the lakes
which give-away their water.
We give-away our thanks to the trees
which give-away fruit and nuts.
We give-away our thanks to the wind
which brings rain to water the plants.
We give-away our thanks to the sun
who gives-away warmth and light.
All beings on earth: the trees, the animals, the wind, and the rivers
give-away to one another so all is in balance.
We give-away our promise to begin to learn
how to stay in balance with all the earth.


Touch the Earth
Hold your herb, and honor it. Herbs have been used by generations of Earthlings for food, medicine, and good luck. Herbs heal, cast spells, and nourish body and soul.


Song: “The Flower Carol,” sung by Unitarian Church of Los Alamos

Spring has now unwrapped the flowers, Day is fast reviving;
Life in all her growing powers Towards the light is striving;
Gone the iron touch of cold, Winter time and frost time;
Seedlings working through the mold Now make up for lost time.

All the world with beauty fills, Gold the green enhancing;
Flow’rs make merry on the hill, Set the meadows dancing.
Earth puts on her dress of glee; Flow’rs and grasses hide her.
Go we forth in charity, One and all beside her.


Thoughts of Spring: “Everywhere Is the Green of New Growth,” given to us by the Chinook Psalter
Everywhere is the green of new growth,
the amazing sight of the renewal of the Earth.
We watch the grass once again emerging from the ground.
We notice the bright green atop the dark green on the pine,
the fir, the hemlock, the spruce, the cedar.
The alder is already in leaf.
The old plum trees still blossom, leaf, and give forth fruit.
The locust is late as always.

Everywhere and always the song of birds …
bees raiding the orchard, raccoon prowling at nightfall,
the earthworm tunneling the garden, chickens and rabbits pecking and nibbling,
the goats tugging to reach new delights … all are the ubiquitous energies of life.

O God,
May we today be touched by grace, fascinated and moved by
this your creation, energized by the power of
new growth at work in your world.

May we move beyond viewing this life only through
a frame, but touch it and be touched by it,
know it and be known by it,
love it and be loved by it.

May our bodies, our minds, our spirits, learn a new rhythm
paced by the rhythmic pulse of the whole created order.
May spring come to us, be in us, and recreate life in us.


Chant: “The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water” sung by Libana

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water,
Return, return, return, return. (2x)


Thoughts of Spring: “Over Cherry Blossoms…” by Shuntaro Tanikawa (谷川 俊太郎)




over cherry blossoms
white clouds
over clouds
the deep sky

over cherry blossoms
over clouds
over the sky
I can climb on forever

once in spring
I with god
had a quiet talk

–translated by Harold Wright


Chant: “The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water” sung by Libana

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water,
Return, return, return, return. (2x)


Thoughts of Spring: “Flowers Have Come,” by Nezahualcoyotl
Flowers have come!
to refresh
and delight you, princes and princesses.

You see them briefly
as they dress themselves,
spread their petals,
perfect only in spring –
countless golden flowers!

The flowers have come
to the skirt of the mountain!

Yellow flowers
sweet flowers precious vanilla flowers
the crow’s dark magic flowers
weave themselves together.

They are your flowers, God.
We only borrow them:
your flowered drum,
your bells, your song.
They are your flowers, God.


Chant: “The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water” sung by Libana

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water,
Return, return, return, return. (2x)


Reflection | Group Sharing
“Once in spring, I with God had a quiet talk.”
During springtime the Divine seems very near. How do you experience God, Creator Spirit, Wisdom Sophia in spring? What do you talk about with the Holy One? What healing is needed this spring within you, on planet Earth, and in this troubled world?



Blessing the Herbs
Hold your herbs.
Creation shares power and beauty by giving us healing herbs. Let us bless them.

Blessed are you, Source of All Life and Beauty,
For giving us these herbs.
Air, fire, water, and spirit combine to bring them to life.
Bless us with the power of creation
That we may bless and be blessed by life.


Chant: “The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water” sung by Libana

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water,
Return, return, return, return. (2x)


Take Action
What can we do to “Welcome the Spring Renewal”?

  • Let us start by spring cleaning – removing from our homes anything detrimental to the environment.
  • Dispose of environmental hazards properly so that they do not end up in our water, soil, and air.
  • Plant something: it could be a seed, a seedling, a tree/shrub, an idea, or a message of hope.
  • Brighten someone’s day by sending a flowering plant to someone who is homebound, in a nursing home, or in rehab.
  • Support habitat preservation and conservation.
  • Support and enjoy your local, regional, or international spring festivals.
  • Work on your own spring – rebirth what you want to restart; breathe new life into the project sitting on the shelf, in a box, or in the closet; dare to embark on a new avenue with a dream you would like to realize.
  • Meditate outside or go for a walk to fully take in spring renewal and its effects on your surroundings.
  • Take part in or host an Easter egg hunt.
  • Plant seeds in your garden and enjoy watching them grow into plants.
  • Collect litter or take part in a cleanup project (e.g. in a park or forest).
  • Buy reusable products (instead of single-use throwaways) and recycle what cannot be reused further to help keep our environment clean.


Sending Forth
Let us join with the Earth and with each other
To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air

To protect the animals
To treasure the trees
To gaze at the stars

To cherish the human community
To heal the Earth
To remember the children
Let us go forth to put our words in action.


Song: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying
I love you

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Source: LyricFind, Songwriters: George David Weiss / Robert Thiele
What a Wonderful World lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Concord Music Publishing LLC


© 2024 Diann L. Neu, adapted from Return Blessings: Ecofeminist Liturgies Healing Earth