What to Expect During A Service
Unitarian Universalist worship services vary by congregation and even by service to service in an individual congregation. In our printed order of service each Sunday, we explain that: Such is our inclusive community that no single service can accurately reflect our spiritual diversity and faith. Please join us for another service to learn more.
All Sunday services at ASWUU begin with the lighting of our flaming chalice, the universal symbol of our denomination. This is followed by words of welcome and our opening music. We then have Ripples of Caring and Sharing, the community sharing of joys and concerns. Those members and friends who choose to participate in this spiritual practice place a stone in a special bowl of water and share the significant moments that have affected their lives that week. As the ripples radiate from the center, we hope the sorrows are halved, and joys doubled. We then have a brief interlude of silent meditation.
A Story for All Ages follows, after which the Religious Education teacher takes the children to class as we sing them out. The service then moves on to a reflection delivered by a member of ASWUU's Worship Weavers team, a guest minister or invited speaker followed by questions, a hymn or responsive reading reflective of the topic. We then take the weekly offering for the support of the church and its programs.
The recitation of a short doxology and our covenant of purpose leads us to our closing words from the pulpit, extinguishing our chalice and singing our closing hymn. The full service is 50 to 60 minutes. Following the service, we gather for fellowship to share refreshments and socialize.
Because many UU's come from other faith traditions whose celebrations and practices they may choose to honor at their respective holiday seasons, ASWUU honors celebrations of other faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Muslim and Paganism, in their seasons. Specific to UU tradition are the seasonal celebrations of the Homecoming Gathering of Earth and Water in September, The Cider and Cornbread Thanksgiving, and our annual Flower Communion in June.