Tonight I attended the 6 o'clock worship service at Unity Church of Houston to take part in the congregation's annual Burning Bowl Ceremony. I was accompanied by a good friend who was as eager as I was to symbolically release life's negatively and ask for positive replacements.
The ceremony is a rite of passage of sorts. It is designed to help us clear away obstacles to our happiness, well-being, peace and joy. It allows us to make room for new beginnings — a new way to be.
The obstacles might be old resentments or nagging regrets. They could be pain or anger over lost relationships or unresolved issues. It doesn't matter. The burning bowl accepts them all.
The ceremony at Unity Church started with the writing on paper of the things we wanted to let go of in the new year. Next, row by row, we walked to the front of the sanctuary to set our papers aflame by lighted candle. Then, quickly we released them into the pit of a burning fire.
As we walked away, an usher handed each of us another piece of paper - to replace the ones we had tossed away. On each was written a specific affirmation.
Mine read: "Affirming that GOD is my Source, all that I desire to accomplish is possible."
I couldn't help but think: "Wow! How wonderful to be given the exact message I need right now."
Some years ago I began making a private ceremony like this part of my New Year's Eve ritual, but tonight was the first time I had the group experience. I liked it. As with prayer, a group's intention and resolve is always more intense and powerful.
I came away tonight feeling as if a roaring fire had been lit in me!