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Books to honor great occasions

Four new books celebrating life's passages.
By Christopher L. Walton And Kenneth Sutton
Spring 2006 2.15.06

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Gay Marriage, Real Life. Michelle Bates Deakin. Skinner House, 2005; $14.

Michelle Bates Deakin, who writes for UU World and many other magazines, met with ten same-sex couples from all parts of the United States to talk about their lives, their relationships, and what marriage—legal only in Massachusetts—means to them. Their stories are inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking. Highly recommended.

Rejoice Together: Prayers, Meditations, and Other Readings for Family, Individual, and Small Group Worship. Second ed. Helen Pickett, ed. Skinner House, 2006; $12.

The first edition of this worship sourcebook was published in 1995. The second edition adds more than fifty selections and is arranged topically in sections such as “Opening Words” and “Table Graces.” The introduction includes helpful guidance for creating family and group worship. Helen Pickett, a church musician, served on the UUA Hymnbook Resources Commission, which produced Singing the Living Tradition.

Bless This Child: A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings to Celebrate Birth. Edward Searl, ed. Skinner House, 2006; $14.

Beyond Absence: A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Readings on Death and Remembrance. Edward Searl, ed. Skinner House, 2006; $15.

The Rev. Edward Searl, minister of the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale, Illinois, has been in parish ministry for nearly thirty years. In Memoriam, his guide to personalized memorial services, is popular far beyond UU circles. Now, in the tradition of Great Occasions, Carl Seaburg’s classic UU anthology of texts for rites of passage, Searl has collected texts from many cultures and times to honor birth and death. Bless This Child features nearly 200 selections, and Beyond Absence more than 300. Collections on coming-of-age and marriage will follow.

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