Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story "The Flower Ceremony - A Plain and Simple Beauty"
- Leader Resource 1, Norbert Capek
- Optional: "The Flower Ceremony" coloring sheet
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story.
- Print out Leader Resource 1 to pass around before you read or tell the story.
- Optional: Download, print, and copy the coloring sheet (PDF). Place coloring sheets and crayons where children can use them when invited but will not be distracted beforehand.
Description of Activity
Norbert Capek came to the United States from his native Czechoslovakia in 1914. He served a Baptist church in New York City but resigned and joined the First Unitarian Church of Essex County in Orange, New Jersey. This congregation was much more in keeping with his liberal religious views. Capek and his wife were prompted to join the church by the liberal religious education available to his children. When his country was liberated after World War I, he returned to Prague and built and led the largest Unitarian church in the world, and spread Unitarianism throughout the country. This story explains how Capek held the first Flower Ceremony while he served in Prague.
Gather the group to hear the story. Show and pass around the picture of Capek and explain that he invented the Unitarian Universalist Flower Ceremony. Tell them he died in World War II but he left this ritual for us. Invite participants to close their eyes if they like. Read or tell the story.
Ask everyone to slowly open their eyes. Process the story with these or similar questions:
- What is a ceremony?
- Why did Reverend Capek choose flowers for his ritual?
- Why do you think the people liked it so much?
- Why do we continue to do this ritual so many years after it began?
- What makes this ritual important to Unitarian Universalists today?
- What is the main message in the flower ceremony?
Conclude with this question:
- What kind of flower would you choose for a flower ceremony?
Tell the children you will all experience a flower ceremony today.