Happy New Year, everybody! May 2023 and its fresh-slate first month be the time
for finding our center.
A ritual I have often led around the New Year is called the Coffin and Cradle. It
was written by my colleague and friend, Rev. Barbara Child. Her intern, back in
the day, was Rev. Roberta Finkelstein, who taught me the ritual when I was
Reflecting on this ritual gave me the opportunity to think about how I look to get
centered. For me, I feel balance when I consciously connect to those around me–
when I see my life in its larger context. Centering on my identity as a UU minister,
I celebrate the lineage of rituals. How might you find your center?
The essence of the Coffin and Cradle ritual is that at the new year we are
encouraged to put into the coffin that which we need to leave behind us in the
previous year, thus the coffin metaphor. Likewise, a cradle metaphor, because in
the new year we could give birth to new dreams and plans.
In the search for finding our center, obtaining balance, we will continuously be
casting off old ideas and anything else that is not serving us any longer, balancing
that with decisions of taking on new visions, or not.
In some ways, the Cradle, that which you would like to birth this year, is like
making New Year’s resolutions, but with balance. The Coffin represents the
balance, finding that center, when we are capable of letting go.
Happy New Year and Happy Searching!