Saturday, September 15, 2007

Day 443: EDM Challenge # 25

I added this new photograph to Creative Journey in my Photography section, Blessing Cup

It's been quite a l-o-n-g time since I've attempted an Everyday Matters challenge! I'm up to Challenge 25:
Drinking Glass

OK, so this isn't a normal drinking glass. But it is something special that we use in our family for special occasion rituals.

Recently a friend of mine asked if our family says grace before meals. That grew into a discussion of some of the ways we incorporate our religious beliefs into our normal family life. This is one way that is most dear to us.

For special occasions, we have a family blessing cup that we fill with sparkling cider. Dale and I bought the cup when we were dating and we use it about 8 times a year ... birthdays, holidays, special occasions. We even used this at our wedding so that our family and friends who were not Catholic could still participate in a sharing of the blessing cup. If we had participated in a Catholic mass, only our Catholic friends could have been included in Communion. We were trying for something more inclusive.

When we use the cup at home, one person begins the prayer, takes a sip, then passes the cup on to the next person at the table. Each person contributes by saying a little something. It doesn't have to be a "prayer" so much as to say something of gratitude. For example, if it's Dale's birthday, we'll each say a little something about him that we're grateful for. After each person has their say, a sip is taken, and the cup is passed on.

Our family blessing cup is a brass chalice-like piece. But I've given Blessing Cups as wedding gifts, and they can be made of ceramic, glass, crystal, whatever seems right for the recipient.

We also have this book that we sometimes use, The Blessing Cup: 24 Simple Rites for Family Prayer-Celebrations by Rock Travnikar, O.F.M. It's nice because it can sometimes give a jump-start for the prayer. It has rituals for various kinds of celebrations ... like birthdays, holidays, deaths, achievements, and lots of other kinds of special celebrations.

Each ritual has an opening prayer, a scripture passage, some petitions (response-type prayers), and a closing. They are quite simple, but very nice when we want something a bit more formal (a bit more Catholic, too).

If friends are present, we always encourage them to add to the prayer and celebration. But if it just feels too awkward to speak, we encourage them to take a sip, and pass the cup on. It is quite a wonderful way to draw us all together around the table.

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