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Lighting of the Chalice

First Unitarian Church, Ann Arbor
June 30, 2002

Each Sunday, a member of our congregation lights the chalice flame at the beginning of the worship service and offers words of personal meaning. We chose to light the chalice as a family the Sunday before Simon's surgery. Mary held Simon; Markus held Miriam. Simon and Markus lit the wick of the chalice with a match, and Simon blew out the match.

Mary: Good morning! We are Mary Craig, (do you want to say it?, no?), Simon Craig Vodosek. . .
Markus: Markus Vodosek. . .
Miriam: Miriam Craig Vodosek!

Markus: We are lighting the chalice today to express our gratitude and our hope.

Mary: We are grateful to all the people who have helped us over the last half-year since Simon's diagnosis of cancer - through their thoughts, prayers, words of support, care-giving, help with chores, dinners, visits, and invitations. The amount of compassion that we have experienced in all arenas of our lives is truly remarkable. The church Caring Committee, led by Sandra Walls, coordinates and provides care that we have come to rely on.

Markus: Second, Simon is entering a new stage in his treatment. He will undergo suergery on Wednesday to have two "cancer balls," as we call them, removed. It is our hope that the surgery will be without complications and that the tumors will reveal that Simon's cancer is on the retreat.

Miriam: I want to talk! [Markus held her to the microphone. Miriam stared out at the congregation, opened her mouth, and said nothing, very cutely.]

At the end of the service, we approached the stage again to blow out the chalice at the appointed moment. The four of us, kids on our hips, encircled the chalice and blew it out on the count of three. We felt like a pretty cute family!
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