Attached is a liturgy we used recently as we began to explore our family backgrounds.
A couple of years ago at Vaux we did a series of meetings around 'My Urban Practice', which were simply an opportunity for individuals in the group to have an evening to talk about their day to day work. It was amazing how much we more we discovered about people.
So we decided to do something similar and give people a chance to explore/share something about their family background. I just went through all of my patriarchs, back to my 4 great grandfathers. It was great just to explore some of that history anyway, and nice to open some of that up to people, hopefully to allow them to understand me better.
Selfish Genes and Generous Spirits
Oh God, who is jealous enough to punish the children for the sins of their great-grandfathers,
and loving enough to show mercy to a thousand generations beyond,
be kind to us today as we gather.
We cannot enter our mothers’ wombs again,
yet you promise us rebirth
into the holy and mysterious family that is each other, and you.
Welcome. And congratulations. I am delighted that you could make it. Getting here wasn't easy, I know. In fact, I suspect it was a little tougher than you realize. To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you.