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Liturgy: Openings


Ring the bell

It is the time to be at worship.

Ring the bell

It is the time to contemplate on the meaning of our lives.

Ring the bell

It is the time to be together and wonder within ourselves.

Ring the bell


Let us be at one to worship the power
The power which moves the universe
For behold
The Lords of light have set their stars upon the heavens
The Earth spins and the Moon holds her course
Let us walk proudly and hold our heads high
For the sky is our Father and the Earth our Mother
And we are the children of the Gods

'Esbat Invocation' in Crowley, V. (1989), The Old Religion in the New Age, The Aquarian Press, p. 94.


Come, come, whoever you are,
Believer, seeker, cynic or friend.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Even if you have broken your vows a hundred times
Welcome, welcome once again!

(Rumi - 13th Century Sufi poet; used in Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel December 2002)


Let us open our hearts and be honest with ourselves, so that in coming to this worship we may be of a loving disposition and worthy of one another.


The voices of the world implore
The giving of our hearts devotion
In worship through the love we feel.

from Marjorie Easton, Reflections, 1979.


Why should we not enjoy an original relation to the universe?

Why should we not have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?

The sun shines also today. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts.

Let us demand our own works and law and worship.

Henry David Thoreau

Fellow worshippers:
We are gathered together that we may seek those things which make life larger and better, and that we may learn to avoid those things which diminish and degrade us. Before all else it behoves us to strive for a conscience void of offence and to undo any evil we may have wrought in the past. We must be in earnest to pursue a good life because it is beautiful and wholly to be desired. Therefore let not any who are here present remain mere critics or spectators. Let all communicate in the spirit of this assembly, being in love and charity with all people. Draw near with reverence, faith and thanksgiving, and take the kinship of human souls for your comfort.

Youlden, H., Manual of Ethical Devotion, 1914, 2-3.


Let us now be sincere and quiet for this worship and open ourselves to its good influences so that we can gather the treasures of hope and truth to feed our wider lives with more knowledge, better judgement and greater kindness.

Let us put away from ourselves all conceited and harsh thoughts, and all intentions of ill, that we may be worthy to enter with pure minds into the company of the valiant, good and wise who speak to us from the past.

After Youlden, H., Manual of Ethical Devotion, 1914, p. 14


We have come together to open our hearts in prayer. In this house dedicated to worship and human fellowship we hope that we shall find a channel of divine love. Let us therefore feel anew the warmth of faith and love and may our service to others display all our worthy aims.


To outgrow the past but not to extinguish it;
To be progressive but not raw,
Free but not mad, critical but not sterile, expectant but not deluded;
To be scientific but not to live on formulas that cut us off from life;
To hear amidst clamour the pure, deep tones of the spirit;
To seek the wisdom that liberates and a loyalty that consecrates;
To turn both prosperity and adversity into servants of character;
To master circumstances by the power of principle,
And to conquer death by the splendour of loving trust:
This is to attain peace,
This is to invest the lowliest life with magnificence.

William L. Sullivan


We are glad when they say to us,
"Let us go into the House of Worship."
Worship is our refuge and rock,
Our salvation and glory.
Call upon worship in truth
Enter into it with thanksgiving
For in worship we find the God of Love.