Sharing the peace for medium-sized gatherings

1. Strip the willow

For those who are more adventurous or know each other really well, try using the folk dance move Strip the willow where you all stand in a circle, initially in twos. On the signal ‘Peace be with you’, turn to your partner offering your right hand – the partner does the same – and you both say ‘And also with you’. Then you pass each other in the direction that you are facing and move to the next partner – offering your left hand this time – saying again, ‘And also with you’. Do this until you’ve gone round everybody in the circle a couple of times. This could be done with some fun music.

2. Pass the parcel – peace stickers

You will need: a prize, a newspaper, sticky tape, pre-printed stickers, a CD player.

Create a multi-layered ‘parcel’ with a nice prize in the centre that everyone will enjoy together – eg, a large pack of Maltesers or Jelly Babies. Instead of forfeits for each layer, include a sheet of five stickers that you’ve pre-printed with blessings like: ‘May God’s peace be with you’. When the music stops, the person removes the next wrapper and finds a small sheet of the pre-printed labels which they then distribute to their immediate neighbours. Eventually everyone in the room should have a sticker – and a nice prize at the end too!

Music: Don’t forget to have some good uptempo music, preferably from the charts, that’s suitable, uplifting and appropriate. If nothing is suitable, a good example would be ‘Celebration’ by Kool & the Gang – and make sure everyone gets ‘a turn’.

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