Fire Communion/Burning Bowl

As people look on in wonder, a blaze of fire hangs in the air (from a piece of ignited flash paper)

On or near the first Sunday in January, many Unitarian Universalist congregations hold a ritual to bid farewell to the old year, and to release it.

In the words of Rev. Elizabeth Harding, "The fire communion separates the end of the year from the beginning, helping us to put in perspective the joys and sorrows, the changes and transitions, the ups and downs of the year. It's a half-way point in our church year, but a celebration of the outside calendar’s year’s end and year’s beginning."

In a ceremony of the burning bowl, people are invited to write down write down words, or a phrase, to sum up what they wish to release before entering the new year. They then come forward to burn that piece of paper.

Search Words for Worship Services

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6.

Chalice Lighting

  • Out of the Flames (WorshipWeb)
    By Sara Eileen LaWall
    Tagged as: 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 6th Principle (World Community), Awe, Courage, Doubt, Faith, Fear, Healing, Inclusion, Justice, Peace, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Unitarian Universalism, Vision, WorshipWeb


  • Our Sacred Fire (WorshipWeb)
    By Elizabeth Harding
    Tagged as: Direct Experience, Generations, Imagination, Nature, Secular, Spiritual Practice, Tradition, Unitarian Universalism

Responsive Reading

  • Forgiveness (WorshipWeb)
    By Amanda Udis-Kessler
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Direct Experience, Forgiveness, Growth, Healing, Humanism, Letting Go, Limitations, Spiritual Practice, Transformation


  • Burning Bowl Ritual (WorshipWeb)
    By Victoria Weinstein
    Tagged as: Change, Direct Experience, Ending, Healing, Letting Go, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Transformation
  • Releasing the Year Behind Us (WorshipWeb)
    By Erika Hewitt
    Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Beginnings, Direct Experience, Ending, Letting Go, Self-Care, Self-Respect, Spiritual Practice, Transformation, Unitarian Universalism, Vision
  • A Ritual of Letting Go, Cleansing, Intention, and Hope (WorshipWeb)
    By Lois Van Leer
    Tagged as: Beginnings, Earth-Centered, Hope, Letting Go, Purpose, Spiritual Practice, Wisdom