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

Taking It Home: Fruit Chalices

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. — Christian scripture, Galatians 5:22-23

IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . the theme was, "At our church [congregation], we use the chalice as our special sign or symbol." We made and ate fruit chalices! Preschool children love to experience life with all their senses. Just like making pancakes in the shape of your initials, making an edible chalice is an "extra-sensory" way for children to get to know an important symbol—in this case, our chalice.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. . . . Engage with your child in awareness of the sights, smells, textures, and tastes of food. This session gave children an opportunity to feel the fruit in their hands; savor the smells of banana, melon, and grapes; and ultimately to taste the fruit, all the while hearing the word "chalice" and connecting it to this wonderful sensory experience. Shape some fruit in a mindful way, enjoying your senses of sight, smell, and touch; then, eat the fruit, enjoying the burst of flavors in your mouth.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try . . . making your own fruit chalices for a snack. One idea is to use half a banana for a stem, a slice of melon for the bowl, and grapes for the flame. The Chalice Palace website offers chalice-shaped cookie cutters and more project ideas.

A Family Adventure. Find out if your family can light the chalice together in a worship service at your congregation. Or, take a walk and look for chalice shapes in nature. Can a tree have a chalice shape?

A Family Discovery. Explore the Chalice Lightings on the UUA website, or visit the Chalice Lightings for Young Children page of the First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI.

Download the "Illuminations" app for your smartphone, which lets you "light" a variety of chalice images by tapping on the screen. You can even "blow" them out—the microphone picks up your breath and removes the flame image. Read more about illuminations online.

A Family Game. Play "Chalice, Chalice, Flame," which is just like "Duck, Duck, Goose."

A Family Ritual. Light a chalice before dinnertime together. Say chalice-lighting words, such as, "We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action."