Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Soul Celebration

All Hallows Eve saw us down at Hove Lagoon for our Soul Celebration, a chance to think about our mortality, our souls and our heavenly home. We had two bases at the lagoon - the Lagoon Watersports club who opened the bar for us, and one of the storage buildings at one corner of the lagoon. These two venues represented our earthbound selves and our heavenly home.

The bar was dark and foreboding (and crowded!) with a video loop of rotting fruit and vegetables playing. In here we asked people to reflect on how much they possessed by writing out a Beyond cheque with an estimate of their financial worth. We also had a chance to consider what we would write for our obituary. We then took the cheques and burnt them - we come into the world with nothing and we leave the world with nothing, and used the ashes to bless each person as they left to journey to heaven with the Ash Wednesday blessing "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return".

Following a string of lights along the edge of the lagoon brought everyone to our second location where they found a place of light, beauty, triumphant music and a party going on. We projected images of flowers bursting into bloom onto the building in direct contrast to the rotting plants in the bar and people discovered traditional halloween pumpkins not carved with ghoulish faces but happy and smiling and with these words carved into them:
God's home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

Everyone was given a glass of champagne and encouraged to write up things that gave them a taste of heaven. Here's a taste:
  • Seeing things as they truly are
  • Affection from a child
  • Seeing a beautifully formed wave up close
  • Snow sparkling in the sun
  • Being truthful with everybody

Then we took the pumpkins to the waters edge and the words that were carved into them were read out as each pumpkin was launched into the lagoon to float away to heaven along with this blessing:

Go gently on your voyage, beloved.
Slip away with the ebb tide,
rejoice in a new sunrise.

May the moon make a path across the sea for you,
the Son provide a welcome.
May the earth receive you and the fire cleanse you
as you go from our love
into the presence of Love's completeness