Rituals

Rituals can fuel the imaginations and lives of people who feel compelled to change the world.  

Wedgewood adapts some of the historic rituals of the church and has created some new rituals, not for the sake of creativity or to meet the worship and ritual preferences of Wedgewoodians, but rather to help us be who God needs us to be and who the world needs us to be.  

Rituals do not have to be boring.  And rituals do not have to be done the same way every time. 

Rituals can be an important part of empowerment, healing, discernment, and the formation of a prophetic community. Rituals also are an opportunity for us to enact the kingdom of God in worship and prepare us not only to pray thy kingdom come on earth but actually contribute to the building of that kingdom.

Wedgewood regularly practices the following rituals:

TATTOO SPIRITUALITY   Come share with the congregation the meaning of one of your tattoos. Often, a tattoo represents a very important part of a person's personality and journey.

TATTOO SPIRITUALITY

Come share with the congregation the meaning of one of your tattoos. Often, a tattoo represents a very important part of a person's personality and journey.

THE LORD’S TABLE   Wedgewood practices an open table in which ALL are able to participate in communion.

THE LORD’S TABLE

Wedgewood practices an open table in which ALL are able to participate in communion.

LIGHTING OF CANDLES   "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." (John 1:5)  One Sunday each month Wedgewoodians are invited to light candles. As we light a candle we commit ourselves to be a light in the darkness, we remember deceased loved ones, we remember the darkness of the world and the darkness of our lives and the lives of others.  We find lighting candles particularly helpful during Advent, Christmas, and Easter.

LIGHTING OF CANDLES

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." (John 1:5)

One Sunday each month Wedgewoodians are invited to light candles. As we light a candle we commit ourselves to be a light in the darkness, we remember deceased loved ones, we remember the darkness of the world and the darkness of our lives and the lives of others.

We find lighting candles particularly helpful during Advent, Christmas, and Easter.

RITUAL OF RELEASE   Deciding when we can do no more, when it is better to move on, or admitting we do not have control over certain matters is no easy realization or decision. The ritual of release helps us release what needs to be released.

RITUAL OF RELEASE

Deciding when we can do no more, when it is better to move on, or admitting we do not have control over certain matters is no easy realization or decision. The ritual of release helps us release what needs to be released.

BAPTISM/DEDICATION OF CHILDREN   Wedgewood does not repeat the mistake of churches in the past and present arguing over the meaning of Baptism. For us, Baptism has many meanings. If you want to be baptized by immersion we will do the ritual with immersion. If you want to be baptized by sprinkling we will celebrate that decision. We baptize children or dedicate them, according to your preference. Either way, we pledge to help you teach your child about the love of God.  That's the way we approach baptism at Wedgewood.

BAPTISM/DEDICATION OF CHILDREN

Wedgewood does not repeat the mistake of churches in the past and present arguing over the meaning of Baptism. For us, Baptism has many meanings. If you want to be baptized by immersion we will do the ritual with immersion. If you want to be baptized by sprinkling we will celebrate that decision. We baptize children or dedicate them, according to your preference. Either way, we pledge to help you teach your child about the love of God.

That's the way we approach baptism at Wedgewood.

A PART OF MY STORY/SPEAK YOUR TRUTH   Wedgewoodians are invited to share "A Part of My Story" and/or to speak their truth. One of the ways we seek to heal the world and ourselves is through sharing parts of our personal story. The sharing of stories also serves to underscore we are an imperfect beloved community with inspiring people who have our share of woundedness.

A PART OF MY STORY/SPEAK YOUR TRUTH

Wedgewoodians are invited to share "A Part of My Story" and/or to speak their truth. One of the ways we seek to heal the world and ourselves is through sharing parts of our personal story. The sharing of stories also serves to underscore we are an imperfect beloved community with inspiring people who have our share of woundedness.

PRACTICE OF SILENCE   Life is hard.  In the midst of whatever is happening in our life the practice of silence helps connect us to God, to our self, and to others.  In silence, we may find inner resources which previously we have not known or experienced.  Of course, a small time of silence during worship is not expected to replace an individual's personal practice of silence. It, however, can be a catalyst for that practice and a reminder of the importance of silence in the midst of all the noise in our lives.  Practicing silence is not about how long a person can be silent. And practicing silence has nothing to do with being pious.  Wedgewood welcomes and celebrates children of all ages in our worship service. If Wedgewood children make noises during our practice of silence or during any part of our worship service we count ourselves as richly blessed by the presence of our children. No parent should ever worry or be anxious about their child making any noise.

PRACTICE OF SILENCE

Life is hard.

In the midst of whatever is happening in our life the practice of silence helps connect us to God, to our self, and to others.

In silence, we may find inner resources which previously we have not known or experienced.

Of course, a small time of silence during worship is not expected to replace an individual's personal practice of silence. It, however, can be a catalyst for that practice and a reminder of the importance of silence in the midst of all the noise in our lives.

Practicing silence is not about how long a person can be silent. And practicing silence has nothing to do with being pious.

Wedgewood welcomes and celebrates children of all ages in our worship service. If Wedgewood children make noises during our practice of silence or during any part of our worship service we count ourselves as richly blessed by the presence of our children. No parent should ever worry or be anxious about their child making any noise.

CALL TO WORSHIP WITH GONG/TIBETAN TINGSHA BELLS/TIBETAN SINGING BOWL, SHOFAR

SAINT AND SINNER   Wedgewood's Saint and Sinner ritual, which is done the first Sunday of each month, is inspired by Martin Luther, the Great Reformer, who teaches us we are simultaneously a saint and a sinner.  Wedgewood's Saints and Sinners have ranged from Mother Teresa to Lady Gaga to Fidel Castro to Prince to Gregory of Nyssa.  We do the Saint and Sinner ritual so we can learn to change the world as others have done before us.

SAINT AND SINNER

Wedgewood's Saint and Sinner ritual, which is done the first Sunday of each month, is inspired by Martin Luther, the Great Reformer, who teaches us we are simultaneously a saint and a sinner.

Wedgewood's Saints and Sinners have ranged from Mother Teresa to Lady Gaga to Fidel Castro to Prince to Gregory of Nyssa.

We do the Saint and Sinner ritual so we can learn to change the world as others have done before us.

Rev. Dr. Nancy Ledins, the first Roman Catholic priest (came out in 1979), was a Wedgewoodian for five years before her death. One of her greatest gifts to us was anointing us with oil.   ANOINTING WITH OIL   People come forward to be anointed with oil. The ritual can mean various things depending on the needs of the person being anointed. Some Wedgewoodians are anointed as a way of praying for their own healing or ability to deal with their life and body. Other Wedgewoodians are anointed as a way of praying for the healing of the world or loved ones and/or their ability of loved ones to deal with their life and body. Still others are anointed as a way of seeking guidance or empowerment.  The oil used is purchased from Thistle Farms, which has natural home and body products handmade by women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

Rev. Dr. Nancy Ledins, the first Roman Catholic priest (came out in 1979), was a Wedgewoodian for five years before her death. One of her greatest gifts to us was anointing us with oil.

ANOINTING WITH OIL

People come forward to be anointed with oil. The ritual can mean various things depending on the needs of the person being anointed. Some Wedgewoodians are anointed as a way of praying for their own healing or ability to deal with their life and body. Other Wedgewoodians are anointed as a way of praying for the healing of the world or loved ones and/or their ability of loved ones to deal with their life and body. Still others are anointed as a way of seeking guidance or empowerment.

The oil used is purchased from Thistle Farms, which has natural home and body products handmade by women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

MILAGRO RITUAL   Wedgewood recognizes it is a part of the global church and seeks to learn from churches throughout the world and from churches from many different traditions.  The word milagro means “miracle.” A milagro refers to religious folk charms that are traditionally used for healing purposes and as a way to make requests to God for specific aspects of one’s life. There are many different milagros and a milagro can have more than one meaning. For example, a person could place a heart on a cross praying for health with respect to their heart or in regard to a search for love. Milagros are popular in Mexico, the southern United States, other areas of Latin America, and parts of the Iberian peninsula.

MILAGRO RITUAL

Wedgewood recognizes it is a part of the global church and seeks to learn from churches throughout the world and from churches from many different traditions.

The word milagro means “miracle.” A milagro refers to religious folk charms that are traditionally used for healing purposes and as a way to make requests to God for specific aspects of one’s life. There are many different milagros and a milagro can have more than one meaning. For example, a person could place a heart on a cross praying for health with respect to their heart or in regard to a search for love. Milagros are popular in Mexico, the southern United States, other areas of Latin America, and parts of the Iberian peninsula.

LIBATION: REMEMBRANCE OF ANCESTORS   We are who we are, in part, because of those who have come before us. In our Libation Ritual we pour water from a pitcher and say the names of ancestors as a way of thanking God for those who have formed us and been with us in our times of need.

LIBATION: REMEMBRANCE OF ANCESTORS

We are who we are, in part, because of those who have come before us. In our Libation Ritual we pour water from a pitcher and say the names of ancestors as a way of thanking God for those who have formed us and been with us in our times of need.

LEFT HAND OF FELLOWSHIP   Early in our worship services we practice what we call the Left Hand of Fellowship, which is in contrast to what some people call The Right Hand of Fellowship.  Extending a hand in fellowship is a greeting ritual. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians (2:9) writes that three disciples of Jesus "gave me and Barnabas their right hands of fellowship." Wedgewood, though, extends a left hand of fellowship as a way of recognizing that left-handed people have throughout history experienced discrimination, even though they were born left-handed, similar to the way human beings are born with a skin pigmentation, sexual orientation and a gender identity. Also, we recognize that “handedness” is not binary. There are some people who do not fit the category of right handed or left handed.  We started the Left Hand of Fellowship ritual upon learning from Rev. Dr. Nancy Ledins, the first Roman Catholic transgender priest (1979), that early in her life people tried to change her from being left handed to being right handed. Only her paternal great-grandfather, Papa John, accepted Nancy as she was. Papa John would invite Nancy into his work shed, hand her some nails to straighten and put a hammer in her left hand.

LEFT HAND OF FELLOWSHIP

Early in our worship services we practice what we call the Left Hand of Fellowship, which is in contrast to what some people call The Right Hand of Fellowship.

Extending a hand in fellowship is a greeting ritual. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians (2:9) writes that three disciples of Jesus "gave me and Barnabas their right hands of fellowship." Wedgewood, though, extends a left hand of fellowship as a way of recognizing that left-handed people have throughout history experienced discrimination, even though they were born left-handed, similar to the way human beings are born with a skin pigmentation, sexual orientation and a gender identity. Also, we recognize that “handedness” is not binary. There are some people who do not fit the category of right handed or left handed.

We started the Left Hand of Fellowship ritual upon learning from Rev. Dr. Nancy Ledins, the first Roman Catholic transgender priest (1979), that early in her life people tried to change her from being left handed to being right handed. Only her paternal great-grandfather, Papa John, accepted Nancy as she was. Papa John would invite Nancy into his work shed, hand her some nails to straighten and put a hammer in her left hand.

blessing ritual.jpg

BLESSING RITUAL

Wedgwood blesses everybody, every thing, and particularly enjoys blessing pets.  The power of blessing cannot be underestimated.  Some people never get the blessings they so desperately want.  And, the journey can be a rocky one.  It's nice knowing there is a faith community cheering you on and wishing you the best.