Spiritual traditions use ceremonies to invite people to go beyond daily life and pay attention to deeper relationships with each other and life in the natural world. Through a spiritual ceremony, people can more fully experience their own awareness and the very source and reason for their being.
Ceremony reminds us that we are integral to the universe, not separate or apart. Ceremony and ritual reach into our primal selves – caressing our hearts, touching our deepest emotions – and stimulating us to act honorably towards self, others, the Earth, nature and the entire Universe. The sacred, ceremonial nature of the Prayer Vigil reflects this vital respect for creation, beginning with the lighting of the Sacred Fire.
From the moment the Sacred Fire is lighted, until it goes out naturally, the Prayer Vigil is blessed by high energies – the Great Spirit, as Native Americans say. During the two days of the Prayer Vigil, people of different traditions and faiths share their ceremonies and participants catch glimpses, not just of an interesting ritual or cultural experience, but of windows into themselves and the world of which they are a part. Through dance, song, drumming, and prayers, the earth is respected and honored, understanding and amity evolve, and wisdom shared. Deep bonds and relationships form among people of different faiths and cultures.
In the many forms of prayer expressed during the Prayer Vigil for the Earth, we seek pacification of hatred and hostilities around the planet, ways of being together with acceptance and respect, and love and care for our deteriorating Earth. Ceremony can be seen as a technology to support us in moving through this paradox to experience who we are and what is present. It provides a way to tune our seeing, listening and sensing though parables or metaphors toward a deeper knowing. The truths of the world around us and within our selves are obvious and ever present; subtle and imperceptible.
The various ceremonies performed during the Prayer Vigil include the following:
- People all over the world are joining together to bring peace to our hearts and our planet through the prayer "May Peace Prevail on Earth" and celebrate with the World Peace Prayer Ceremony.
- Over the years, the Prayer Vigil for the Earth has used a ceremony called Taking a Stand, Taking a Step Commitment Ceremony as one of its closing events.
- Enjoy the beautiful Earth Meditation by Lorrie Eaton, a Prayer Vigil participant.
- Share the Universal Greeting with others as you create a circle of friendship and partnership.
- The Water Blessing Ceremony created by several African Spiritual Houses brought powerful healing energy to benefit those who wished to partake of it as well as the waters of the world.
- Come participate in the lovely Divine Feminine's Prayers for Peace for her Children Ceremony.
- Our Fall Equinox Ceremony recognizes the time of harvest as also the time of the seeds for spring.
- Saying a prayer or doing some ritual before Breaking Bread is common in many traditions as a way of
thanking the Creator for sustaining our lives.
- When the Shofar is sounded we pray that our prayers for peace, justice and redemption be carried
throughout the world.
- A Sufi Zikir is a litany ceremony that usually follows an Islamic prayer, but which can also be practiced at other times.
- Participate in the Lamban, a West African dance ceremony, formerly only played for kings, pulls community together, and is now played at weddings and other community gatherings.
- Come join Suzanne Clarke as she explains the Releasing of the Butterflies Ceremony to our children.
- The Harry Byrd Celebration of Humanity Game was created to give all human beings regardless of age a chance to celebrate people of different cultures, ethnicities, and/or skin colors. [link to Harry Byrd
- The Living Earth Game was fashioned to provide people with a Big Picture sense of the Earth’s history, to enhance their sense of belonging to the Earth family, and to support the Earth Charter.