What to Expect in Worship
We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.
Unitarian Universalist worship styles vary by congregation, and even within congregations. At Chalice you will find variety, ranging from the traditional sermon and hymn service to participatory services, which can include earth-centered holidays, personal witnesses, or special music services.
At the 9 am service, children join us for the beginning of the service, including a “story for all ages.” After the story, children preschool – 5th grade are sung out of the sanctuary for religious education classes. Middle school youth typically attend class beginning at promptly at 9:00. At the 11 am service, children and youth may attend worship with their parents or attend childcare.
Elements of a typical Sunday morning worship service at Chalice include:
- Words of welcome.
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith.
- A “centering hymn,” usually short, simple, and sung without accompaniment.
- A “story for all ages” during which the children are invited to come to the front.
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles.
- Candles of Community. Congregants may fill out “Candle Cards” lifting up a joy or sorrow in their lives; these are read by Rev. Sharon.
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community. First-time visitors are asked to let the basket pass you by: you are our guest.
- A meditation or prayer.
- Readings—ancient or contemporary.
- A sermon given by one of our ministers, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation.
- Children and youth may remain with their parents or attend childcare or classes.
Once a month, we have multigenerational worship services. In multigenerational worship, children remain in the chapel for the entire worship service, and religious education classes are not held. These services are designed to be experiential, with more movement, singing, and ritual than other Sundays. Nursery care remains available for younger children.
From time to time, worships incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, longer musical performances, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies.