Holidays and Traditions
The holiday celebrations in Unitarian Universalist congregations reflect the Six Sources of our faith. Many Unitarian Universalists and our congregations celebrate Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter, Jewish holidays like Passover, and Pagan Winter Solstice, among others.
Unitarian Universalism has also unique rituals and traditions of its own, including the Water Communion, Flower Communion, and Coming of Age. Our holiday services use the stories and traditions creatively, calling us to our deeper humanity and our commitment to the good. In addition to religious holidays and traditions, we also honor secular holidays including Earth Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Thanksgiving.
The Water Communion is celebrated as an Gathering-In celebration in the fall. Members bring to the service a small amount of water from a place that they visited over the summer, or is special to them. During the appointed time in the service, one by one people pour their water together into a large bowl. It is then blessed, sterilized and kept to be used as our “holy water” in child dedications and other special ceremonies.
Yule Log Service
Come celebrate the winter solstice and the change of the year. The burning of the Yule log was at one time one of the most firmly entrenched customs of Christmas. This tradition is a remnant of the solstice bonfire that European pagans would set ablaze at the time of winter solstice; it is an ancient ritual marking the longest night. The Yule log is lit ablaze to clean out the old year and to bring hope to the New Year. Personal faults, mistakes and bad choices are burned in the flames of the Yule log so everyone’s New Year starts with a clean slate. This is a family friendly service with song, contemplation, and fire.
Each year, our children, youth, adult choir and everyone in attendance participate in a special pageant service celebrating the miracle of Christmas.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
We’ll share our traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight service. This is a time of reflection and beauty, filled with Christmas music.
The Flower Communion is an annual UU ritual done in the spring that celebrates beauty, spring and being in community. In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower. After the congregation and minister bless the flowers, they are redistributed. Each person takes home a different flower than the one they brought.