Holidays and Traditions
The holiday celebrations in Unitarian Universalist congregations reflect the six Sources of our faith.
Many Unitarian Universalists celebrate Christian holidays like Christmas, Jewish holidays like Passover, and Pagan Winter Solstice, among others. 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, we also honor secular holidays including Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.
Here at Chalice, we have a number of specific holiday traditions:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
On MLK Day, we honor Dr. King and examine our role in ending racism and oppression today.
Imbolc is the Neo-Pagan celebration of the earliest signs of spring, an observance that lives on in our modern Groundhog Day. At this service, we honor the goddess Brigid and celebrate her gifts of beauty and creativity.
On Easter, we celebrate the beauty of our diversity as a congregation. The service does explore the Christian holiday of Easter, but we also participate in a Flower Communion ritual common to Unitarian Universalist congregations.
Adoration Sunday/May Day
To adore is to love deeply and fully. But we can feel embarrassed to show our love openly and unabashedly. On May Day, we celebrate the beauty and blessings of loving with our whole hearts. We dance the maypole between services, and congregants are asked to email in photos of those they adore (human and animal) beforehand for inclusion in our service.
Spring & Winter Music Services
Twice a year our Music Director and musical groups lead a worship service.
Question Box Service
Once a year, questions are collected during the service and answered by Rev. Sharon in lieu of a sermon. Children’s questions are answered during the Time for All Ages.
Congregants are invited to bring a book to trade.
Honoring Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, a time for reflection and asking for forgiveness. We honor this High Holy Day by considering how we might offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us the most. We offer a Unitarian Universalist ritual of atonement.
In September, we observe our communal Water Ritual, where the blending of waters reminds us of our deep connections to each other.
We Call Our Beloved Dead/Samhain
Whether you call it Samhain, Dia de los Muertos, or All Hallows’ Eve: this is the season to remember and honor our ancestors and beloved dead. Congregants are invited to bring photos of deceased loved ones (pets too!) to add to our communal altar as we gather in memory and celebration of those who have gone before us. We call the names of congregants who have died in the past year.
Chalice Soup/Founders’ Day
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, we pause to reflect on and to share our communal abundance, with special appreciation for our founding members. Congregants are encouraged to bring vegetarian soup ingredients for our communal soup, cooked by a volunteer during worship and served after the service. Canned goods for the Interfaith Community Services Food Pantry are also collected during the service.
We gather at a time of longest night to honor one of of the most significant holy days in the Christian tradition. Our service includes traditional Christmas hymns and communal candle lighting. Childcare is not available; children are welcome for the service.