What is your prayer for sacred waters?

Water is sacred and water is life. The courage and sacrifice of Water Protectors who mounted a prayerful resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016 reminded the world of this and opened hearts to this truth in deep ways. The clarity and strength of their prayers rippled out waves of inspiration to many other struggles for self-determination and clean water around the world.

All across Turtle Island* — from the Salish Sea, to the wild rice lakes of Minnesota, to the Atchafalaya Basin and Gulf Coast waters, and beyond — communities and First Nations are continuing to rise up to protect water from continued risk, exploitation, and degradation by corporations and fossil fuel industries.

In recent years, many have called for Unitarian Universalist water communion rituals to move beyond centering travelogues and to honor our interconnectedness and relationship to water in deeper, more class-conscious ways.

One way Unitarian Universalists can do this is by honoring the Indigenous history and practice of water ceremonies, and by recognizing the historic moment we are in with regards to the growing waves of Indigenous-led movements — rooted in prayer — to protect sacred waters.

Whereas the UU water communion tradition began in the 1980s, water rituals have been practiced for centuries all over the world and have a deep history with Indigenous nations of Turtle Island.  

In this video, UU Community Minister Rev. Gary McAlpin shares a water prayer in his Cherokee territories and tradition:

Creator from the Seven Directions, we ask that you would bless this water way, lifeblood of our entire world, the bloodveins that flow through us and keep us connected to each other and to you.

In this time of protecting waters and having to do what we need to do, we pray that you would give us the strength to continue to bless and protect this gift that is with us, so that it will bring us all back together as one.” – The Reverend Gary L. McAlpin

What is your prayer for sacred waters?

Take a moment to reflect on how the upwelling of Indigenous-led and community-led movements to protect sacred waters has made an impact on your own perspective and relationship to water.

Please write a prayer or meditation, light a candle, &/or perform a ritual prayer for water protectors and the ongoing struggle to protect and restore sacred waters.

As you are willing and able given the context and nature of your prayer, please share words, photos, or stories with UU Ministry for Earth.

Share your Prayer


This is an administrative account for UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE).