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Every year in September, on the occasion of the first service of the church year, we hold a ceremony called the Gathering of the Water
— the beginning of the process of making the holy water we will use throughout the year for many purposes, including blessing infants and sending young adults on their way. Each member of the community brings some water from somewhere their life has taken them over the summer.
We begin the ceremony by pouring some of last year’s holy water into a large vessel. This water contains traces of the water from each year before, stretching back now 17 years. Then each member of the community adds their water to the mix and speaks a single word. As we do every year, we have gathered these words together into a single image (click the link to open a new window). Larger words were spoken more frequently.
For comparison, here are our words from
2009, and 2008. (The words for 2012 were, alas, not recorded.)
Big Church Resumes Sept. 11
Jim Moisson’s Chalice Lighting