Activity time: 7 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Worship table or designated space
  • Chalice, candle, and lighter, or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Optional: Musical accompaniment for "I Would Be True," Hymn 559 in Hymns of the Spirit, the maroon Unitarian Universalist hymnal last published in 1958. The hymn is sung or played on a number of YouTube clips as well

Preparation for Activity

  • Arrange the worship table or designated space.
  • Write on newsprint, and post:

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;

I would be pure, for there are those who care;

I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be friend, of all, the foe, the friendless

I would be giving, and forget the gift;

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.

I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.

Description of Activity

Share the posted lyrics from the 1917 hymn "I Would Be True" as you or a volunteer lights the chalice. Invite participants to sing the hymn. Tell participants this hymn was included in Hymns of the Spirit, the hymnal used by Unitarians and Universalists well into the 1960s. Ask if any participants recall singing this hymn, perhaps as children. Ask: "Do the lyrics make sense to you as a moral framework? Are there ways in which they do not?"

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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