Holidays and Traditions
The holiday celebrations at Community Unitarian Universalist Church reflect and honor the six sources of our faith.
Like many Unitarian Universalist congregations, our church celebrates Christian holidays like Christmas, Jewish holidays like Passover, and Pagan Winter Solstice, among others. Our holiday services use the stories and traditions creatively, encouraging us to reflect on our shared humanity and our commitment to the greater good.
Celebrations unique to Unitarian Universalism include the Flower Ceremony, traditionally held in the spring, and Chalica, which begins the first Monday in December and lasts for seven days.
In addition to religious holidays, we also honor secular holidays including Earth Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Labor Day, Indigenous Peoples Day, and Thanksgiving.
Turnings – Around the start of new year, we acknowledge the events of the past year in the “Turnings” service. This service is intentionally focused on change and transition: we reflect on the past year, but look ahead to the future.
Youth Sunday – A yearly service prepared and led by the senior high group.
Coming of Age – CUUC’s eighth and ninth graders present their credo statements from the pulpit, as the culmination of their Coming of Age religious education program.
Flower Ceremony – Sometimes referred to as the Flower Communion, this is an annual ritual that celebrates the beauty of human uniqueness, diversity, and community. CUUC traditionally holds this service on Mother’s Day. In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower (or flowers), which are placed on the altar or in a shared vase. The congregation and minister bless the flowers, which are then redistributed, with each person selecting a different flower than the one they brought, and presenting it to another congregant to take home with them.
Ingathering and Water Communion – We hold our Water Communion in the fall, serving as our Ingathering observance to begin our liturgical year. The congregation comes back together, many of us having traveled or had other adventures during the summer. Participants bring water from their travels (or symbolic water from any source!), and contribute it to a common vessel while sharing a few words with the congregation. The waters are blessed and a portion of the co-mingled waters are saved to incorporate into the following year’s Water Communion.
Blessing of the Backpacks – Traditionally held at the start of the school year in the fall, kids of all ages are welcome to bring their backpacks, purses, laptop bags, briefcases, satchels, gym bags (or anything else) to the altar to be blessed with love and good tidings for the coming year.
Chalica – Each December, this uniquely UU holiday offers us an opportunity to reflect on our seven principles over seven days, and to consider how we can live them out every day. There’s no one way to celebrate, just as there’s no one way to be UU: individuals and families are welcome to create their own rituals or traditions, which may include chalice lightings, sharing stories, meditation, and thoughtful discussion. Our RE Board supports us during Chalica with suggested readings, stories, videos, and discussion questions suitable for kids of all ages.
- Chalica Day One
- Chalica Day Two
- Chalica Day Three
- Chalica Day Four
- Chalica Day Five
- Chalica Day Six
- Chalica Day Seven
Solstice and Yuletide Celebration – Acknowledges the ever-changing cycle of nature and our relationship to the natural world.
Candlelight Christmas Eve, with Lessons & Carols – An inter-generational service for all ages, where we share the stories of this magical night with singing, readings, and a candlelight communion.