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An International Focus during Flower Communion Services
An International Focus during Flower Communion Services
Many Unitarian Universalist congregations cherish their annual flower communion services as a beautiful symbol and ritual of our history, our current ministries, and our highest aspirations. While the liturgical elements that congregations include during flower communion vary tremendously, there are a few themes which are addressed fairly universally. For example, most congregations are likely to:

 

  • Memorialize the originator of the flower “communion” service, Reverend Norbert Capek, and his ministry in Prague.
  • Remember that Reverend Capek is a Unitarian martyr, who died after 14 weeks in Dachau concentration camp.
  • Celebrate that the flower “communion” was designed as a ritual that diverse people who were coming-out of other religions could embrace.
  • Reflect upon the power of a people in community giving and receiving beautiful gifts with each other.

These, and many other themes, are obviously appropriate for flower communion services. However, an under-utilized theme that congregations can consider emphasizing during flower communion services is Faithful Global Citizenship, as reflected by the UUA’s Sixth Principle: We Covenant to Affirm and Promote the Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty and Justice for All.

I recall that in parish ministry the sixth principle was often a very challenging one to bring close to home. Often it is seen as the “United Nations” principle, a commitment that anonymous members of large international organizations will have to take care of, with occasional support from individual Unitarian Universalists and local congregations. However, for congregations that understand international ministry to be a part of their mission, there are many effective and creative ways to give it life. And, Flower Communion services provide a unique opportunity in that effort.

 

Visit Sixth Principle Resources for Flower Communion Services for suggestions, and consider including a prayer – Remembering our International Family of Faith – from UUA President William G. Sinkford as a part of your congregation’s Flower Communion service.

 

 And, please share other ways in which your congregation has emphasized Faithful Global Citizenship during Flower Communion services with the International Resources Office at the UUA.

“Take good care of the religious work we have begun by persisting in the emphasis on positive attitudes toward life and on the building of strong character which can endure all storms and dangers. Precisely this ability is missing in many people who do not understand religion as something more than pious phrases and prayers.”

- Rev. Capek, writing from Dachau, Henry, Richard, Norbert Fabian Capek: A Spiritual Journey, p. 265

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For more information contact international@uua.org.