Worship in Unitarian Universalist congregations
Unitarian Universalists nurture their spirits in as wide a variety of ways as are our beliefs. We find it in the quiet of our hearts, in the voices of fellowship, in the experience of worship together, in the work of justice, in the wonder of nature.
WorshipWorship in all our congregations includes singing together -- usually from the hymnal "Singing the Living Tradition" -- listening to inspirational readings and a sermon, reciting a covenant together, acknowledging each other in fellowship. Music is an important part of the worship experience. Congregations with large music programs have occasional worship services of music or presenting a piece of music.
Special worship services are offered from time to time, such as
√ The Taize services of music and meditation at Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Church and People's Church of Chicago.
√"Soulful Sundown," a lively service with lots of music at First Society Chicago on the First Sunday of a month at 6 pm.
The Circle of LifeCongregations celebrate the milestones of our lives. Child dedications of word and gentle ritual welcome babies and children into the church family. Early teens participate in a coming of age program and the congregation celebrates the culmination of that study year. Weddings and services of union are held. The worship service contains a time when we share our "Joys and Concerns" with each other. Memorial services celebrate the life of a member who has died.
Sharing our spiritual journeysCongregations have a variety of experiences offered in which we share our spiritual journeys.
√ Chalice Circles, covenant groups, are on-going groups which meet to share what is going on in their lives, share discussion of a common topic, work together for a common cause, share spiritually nurturing ritual.
√ Men's and women's groups share fellowship and service. Women's groups may follow a curriculum centered around feminine theology, such as "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven" and "Rise up and Call Her Name."
√ Buddhist meditation groups and yoga meditation groups.
√ Hypnotism and Reiki is offered for the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva.
√ The labyrinth at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin offers a meditative space
Adult LearningUnitarian Universalists cherish the opportunity to shape their own beliefs and for that reading, thinking, and discussion are in order. Many adult curricula are offered by the national Unitarian Association, and ministers and congregational leadership regularly offer opportunities to explore world religions, examine theological questions, learn about Unitarian Universalist history, experience a variety of spiritual practices, share religious journeys, and more.
Diverse faith communitiesWithin our congregations are groups sharing common faith journeys.
√ Pagan groups are part of CUUPS, "Coven of Unitarian Universalist Pagan Societies," offering fellowship through earth-centered ritual, at First Unitarian Church of South Bend, First Unitarian Church of Hobart, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford
√ Agnostic, atheist, Buddhist, and humanist groups at Countryside Church, Unitarian Universalist
√ The Blue Lotus Temple and the Nia Spirituality groups at the Congregational Unitarian Church of Woodstock
√ The Spiritual Pluralism Project at First Society Chicago: UU Christian Fellowship, UU Buddhist Fellowship, UU Humanist Fellowship, and Earth-Based Spirituality Fellowship
√ Earth-centered rituals at solstices are part of Prairyerth at Hinsdale, South Bend, and New Garden in Chicago.
Lake Shore Unitarian Society centers their worship services around an astonishing array of speakers. Other congregations offer lay-led services, sometimes led by members, sometimes with special speakers. For a do-it-yourself religion, lay leadership in worship is a key element.
passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a
circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter,
voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power.
that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle
of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.