Partnership for Earth Spirituality

Rituals and Liturgies

Generally speaking, a ritual is a collective expression of shared values using formally-ordered words, music, and bodily movement. Rituals are common to all societies. The word liturgy usually denotes a ritual with religious content, as prescribed by the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In this section of the website, the Partnership presents rituals and liturgies specifically germane to earth spirituality in PDF files created by their authors.

For more rituals & liturgies please go to the New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light website and click on Earth & Faith.

Earth Tenebrae

An Earth Spirituality Ritual for the Vernal Equinox

By Ken Cuthbertson

The Cosmic Christ and Global Warming, retablo by Gene McClain

The Cosmic Christ and Global Warming, Retablo by Gene McClain
Traditionally the Tenebrae (from the Medieval Latin word for darkness or shadows) are songs and readings offered during the last three days of Holy Week, and feature the use of candles in the ceremony. In northern New Mexico it was combined with the Stations of the Cross in the “Tinieblas” ritual observed by Catholic lay confraternities. In this version the fourteen stations reflect the environmental crisis and the growing impact of global warming. The ritual was composed for a Vernal Equinox service held at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in Placitas, New Mexico, on St. Cuthbert's day, March 20, 2006.
Please click here to download the complete Earth Tenebrae PDF file.

Welcoming the Day
Welcoming the Night

Earth Spirituality Rituals

By Wallace Ford

Sunrise over Orwel Bay
Sunrise Over Orwel Bay, photograph by Wallace Ford
Welcoming the Day is a creation centered ritual for use both by an individual as well as a group. The ritual was birthed in a retreat setting at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico and shaped into its present form through use by retreatants and individuals over the past 14 years. The ritual draws upon Earth Spirit traditions as well as personal testimonies by those who have used it on a regular basis. The full text includes not only the ritual itself but also numerous notes which expand on the background of the ritual as well as its individual components.
Please click here to download the complete Welcoming the Day PDF file.

Moonrise over Albuquerque
Moonrise Over Albuquerque, photograph by Wallace Ford

Welcoming the Night is a more recent exploration into welcoming night and darkness as healing gift, thus setting aside the more typical interpretation of darkness and night as sinister. This ritual also emerged out of retreat settings and has since been refined by individuals who have used it as a regular spiritual practice. It like the companion ritual can be used by both individuals as well as groups. The starting affirmation of the ritual is in the Genesis Creation Story that affirms the goodness of both “evening and morning” a single revelatory event. The complete file also contains several explanatory notes.
Please click here to download the complete Welcoming the Night PDF file.

Earth Day Ritual

by The Rev. Elizabeth Lyman
Las Placitas Presbyterian Church 2009

Pastor Elizabeth Lyman, Earth Day 2009

Earth Sabbath began outdoors in the Memorial Garden with a renewal of baptism and prayer,
then continued in the sanctuary.

Download the service as a word .doc

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