Faith Formation Sunday
The word “mandala” means a “special circle.” In many different countries people create mandalas as a way of praying or showing something about their beliefs. Some doctors have their patient make a mandala to help them express feelings they have trouble talking about. in Tibet, mandalas for peace are created in sand. The Navajo create similar sand paintings to heal sickness. When they are finished, they take the picture apart and sweep up the sand. Sometimes they sweep it into some water as a special blessing. They do this to remind themselves that everything in the world is always changing and the sand won’t stay the same forever. It starts out just as sand, then becomes a beautiful work of art, and then goes right back to being sand. But when they’re finished, the sand is special because it came from their art and it knows their prayers.
You can make a mandala on your own or with a group. First, gather supplies: items that can be used to create patterns within the mandala, such as buttons, marbles, checkers, bottle caps, building blocks, washers, scrabble tiles, mosaic titles, pebbles, beads, seed pods, leaves; paper circle cut from an 81/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper.
A meditation before making a mandala. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take three, slow deep breaths and imagine God’s Spirit filling you with love from head to toe. Think about something sad that is happening in the world, something that you want to see change. Imagine God’s Spirit moving in the world to answer that prayer. Imagine God’s Spirit bringing love into that situation. Now, imagine God’s Spirit forming a big circle, a circle of love in that place. Imagine what the circle looks like and what it feels like. When you are ready, open your eyes. Use the items you have gathered to make a picture of your circle. You can do whatever you wish with your circle. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Trust that God is with you in creating the right mandala for today.
Today’s activity, on this Faith Formation Sunday, is adapted from Faith Practices: Praying and Making Ritual, copyright 2021 The Pilgrim Press. Faith Practices is an easily adaptable and inexpensive faith formation curriculum for all ages available at thepilgrimpress.com.