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Ritual is the way we carry the presence of the sacred. Ritual is the spark that must not go out. — Christina Baldwin, in Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest

Not all Unitarian Universalist congregations use the same elements of worship, yet we often have rituals in common such as chalice lighting, flower ceremony, and water communion. We may use different words and different actions. Still, our rituals bind us together in Unitarian Universalist religious community.

The theme of this session is "Our rituals represent love and acceptance." The story describes the first flower ceremony and how a minister began the tradition. The minister, Norbert Capek, began a ritual with the symbol of flowers to demonstrate his belief that although everyone is different, they are all beautiful and he loved them just as they were. Story, discussion, and activities help participants understand rituals and see how they represent love in our communities.


This session will:

  • Demonstrate the Unitarian Universalist idea that all people learn together in our congregations (third Principle)
  • Convey the concept of rituals and introduce common elements of Unitarian Universalist worship
  • Teach a popular worship ritual used in many congregations throughout the world
  • Introduce some Unitarian history.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Learn that ritual serves the purpose of gathering people in shared faith
  • Learn the origin of the flower ceremony and its role in contemporary Unitarian Universalist worship
  • Experience a ritual that affirms acceptance and love, by participating in a flower ceremony.

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