Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children: A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers

Activity 3: Circle Time

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Leader Resource 1, The Flower and Water Ceremonies
  • Chalice-lighting words, written on newsprint
  • Chalice with tea light flame or other preschool chalice option
  • Feelings Chart or Feelings Flashcards by Todd Parr

Preparation for Activity

  • Post the chalice-lighting words on the wall near the Circle Time area.
  • Read Leader Resource 1, The Flower and Water Ceremonies, for background information and terminology regarding the flower ceremony.

Description of Activity

Bring the chalice into the circle, either on the floor or on a small table or stand. Say, in these words or your own:

Welcome to Circle Time! First we light our chalice.

Point out where your chalice-lighting words are displayed. Repeat your chalice-lighting words as you "light" the chalice:

We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth and the energy of action.

Say, in these words or your own:

Now we share our names and feelings. How are each of you feeling today? We will go around the circle and each say our name and point to how we're feeling today on the Feelings Chart [or Feelings Flashcard]. If you would rather not share today, you may say, "No, thank you."

Once everyone who wishes to has shared, say, in these words or your own:

For all the feelings that we feel today, we know that we have our friends, our families, and our church [congregational] family to share them with.

Introduce the special worship service by saying, in these words or your own:

Today we are going to explore the beauty of flowers. At [name of congregation], we celebrate the beauty of flowers with a special service called a flower ceremony. At the flower ceremony, people bring flowers from home and take different flowers back home with them.

Share your own feelings to add warmth to the description of the service and convey the enjoyment of the special worship service in your own life, for example:

I remember getting such pretty flowers-sometimes a wildflower, sometimes a fancy rose. Each time was different, and each flower was different, and each was beautiful.

Some children may remember participating in a flower ceremony. Ask, in these words or your own:

  • Has your family ever brought flowers to church [our congregation] for this service?
  • What did they look like?
  • Where did you get them?

State in simple terms how this service is connected to our faith, for example:

At [name of congregation], we like differences in flowers, just as we like differences in people. They are all beautiful.

Introduce the next activities by saying, in these words or your own:

Today we are going to have our own flower ceremony, but first let's read a story about flowers.

Including All Participants

If any child has mobility challenges, you could hold your circle activities in a circle of chairs to make it easier to include a wheelchair or for a child to sit while wearing leg braces.