Unitarian Universalist Worship Services

People of many ages sing from the pews and the chancel at the UU Congregation of Fairfax, VA.

We gather in worship to find meaning and live more deeply. Worship creates connections within, among, and beyond us, calling us to our better selves, calling us to live with wisdom and compassion.

Our worship styles vary by congregation, and even within congregations. Some congregations’ worship is contemporary and high tech. Some congregations’ worship is traditional and formal. Some features exuberant music, some includes long periods of silent reflection.

Some congregations have special worship services for children or for youth. Some have seasonal evening worship services led by Jewish, Christian, or Pagan members of the congregation. Nearly all of our congregations have a Sunday morning worship.

Elements of a typical Unitarian Universalist Sunday morning worship service include:

  • Words of welcome
  • Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
  • A multigenerational segment, such as a “story for all ages”
  • Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
  • A time for lifting up the joys and concerns of the congregation
  • A meditation or prayer
  • Readings—ancient or contemporary
  • A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
  • An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community.

From time to time, worships incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, longer musical performances, or special ceremonies to commemorate life’s passages. Most congregations offer childcare and faith development programs for children and youth during the Sunday service.

A Chosen Faith An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism

By Forrest Church, John A. Buehrens

From Beacon Press

An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism...

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Mother and two young daughters light chalice at Service of the Living Tradition, General Assembly.

Children and the minister preparing to light a flaming chalice at the beginning of UU worship.

Many members of the UU Congregation in Stony Brook, Long Island gathered in colorful clothing on green grass.

Three people at a table with a coffee cup and a laptop computer.

Visit Church of the Larger Fellowship for online, live-streamed, interactive worship.

"Justice Is Love in Action:" a spirit-filled and challenging worship service on advocacy and social action. From the UUA's General Assembly 2012, which focused on compassionate immigration reform.