Probably the most important of Judaism’s high holy days, the culmination of the Days of Awe, that begins with Rosh Hashanah. It was established in Leviticus 23:26-32. "Yom Kippur" means "Day of Atonement." It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year. Themes of the day include repentance, reconciliation, asking for forgiveness. “Atonement” can be broken down into: “At-one-ment”, implying that when we forgive and are forgiven, we are brought back into relationship with one another.

From Tapestry of Faith Curricula

Unitarian Universalist Perspectives

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  • May this chalice light guide us toward the courageous and openhearted apology, toward repair of relationships in our lives.
    Chalice Lighting | By Joanna Lubkin | October 1, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Forgiveness, Judaism, Relationships, Sacred, Yom Kippur, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • We are held by the great Book of Life, in which it is written that we will inevitably face deprivation and discomfort. Each among us must contemplate our own place in it all.
    Opening | By Leah Ongiri | September 15, 2020 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Judaism, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • Spirit of Life, Source of Love, you who know our struggles and failures as well as we know them ourselves, be with us as we enter into this time of reflection. Give us the courage to travel through a moral inventory of our lives, to notice the places where we have missed opportunities to live our...
    Prayer | By Lyn Cox | October 16, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Community, Conscience, Ethics, Failure, Judaism, Reconciliation, Responsibility, Rosh Hashanah, Transformation, Yom Kippur
  • We feel the season turning. The early sunset glancing through the red-tinged leaves. The newspaper arriving in the cool morning air. The flock of migrating swallows. A feeling of being on the edge of something new. These are the Days of Awe. A time to welcome a new year and a time to make the old...
    Opening | By Ben Soule | January 7, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), Awe, Conscience, Contemplation, Judaism, Mindfulness, Peace, Reconciliation, Rosh Hashanah, Sacred, Wonder, Yom Kippur, Worship
  • One: It may be the hardest thing we will ever do, Many: Caught up in our self-righteousness, honing our pain. One: The one who offended may not deserve forgiveness Many: And we are not obliged to offer it. One: Why, then, should we forgive? Many: Because we have all caused pain....
    Responsive Reading | By Amanda Udis-Kessler | July 3, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Direct Experience, Fire Communion, Forgiveness, Growth, Healing, Humanism, Letting Go, Limitations, New Year, Spiritual Practice, Transformation, Yom Kippur
  • For those we have hurt in any way, whether through words or deed or thoughts. Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven. For the excuses we have made, just to be right. Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven. For the blame we have placed on someone else, again and again....
    Litany | By Cathy Cartwright-Chow | September 29, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), Acceptance, Community, Forgiveness, Grace, Healing, Judaism, Relationships, Responsibility, Rosh Hashanah, Self-Respect, Unitarian Universalism, Yom Kippur
  • Spirit of Life and Love, known by many names and yet fully known by none, we give thanks for this time and this place of renewal. We give thanks for the ability to begin again: after the disaster, after the tragedy, after the loss, after meeting the challenge set before us....
    Prayer | By Lyn Cox | September 22, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), Courage, Disaster or Crisis, Diversity, Gratitude, Homecoming / Ingathering, Hospitality, Journey, New Year, Reconciliation, Rosh Hashanah, Transformation, Unitarian Universalism, Yom Kippur
  • Imagine this. On the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, every fall, every year, the people make their peace with anyone they have wronged or slighted or injured or in any way neglected in the past twelve months....
    Meditation | By Victoria Safford | June 13, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), Brokenness, Forgiveness, Healing, Judaism, Relationships, Wholeness, Yom Kippur
  • Let go Of all that binds you Of all that burdens you Of what you carry Of all that shames you Of fear Of trespasses and transgressions Of woundedness Let go of guilt Let go of anger Let go of small mindedness and pettiness Of ways of being that no longer work for you Of compulsions that consume y...
    Opening | By Lois Van Leer | January 14, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Ending, Healing, Letting Go, New Year, Yom Kippur
  • Spirit of Life, Spirit of Love, Spirit of Generosity, As we draw near to that quiet essential side of ourselves, may we open enough to consider the sacred choices we make each minute, each hour, each day that add up to a lifetime. Let us become aware that here is the place to be forgiven, and to...
    Prayer | By Katie Kandarian-Morris | November 18, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Acceptance, Forgiveness, Grace, Inclusion, Yom Kippur
  • In Jewish tradition, the four chapters of the Book of Jonah are read aloud at Yom Kippur. Jonah is a minor prophet in the Hebrew Bible but he has a big message. Some of you may know his story. Jonah is sent by God to Nineveh to warn the people that if they do not change their ways they will be...
    Story | By Joanne Giannino | September 22, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Anger, Community, Compromise, Forgiveness, God, Good, Judaism, Transformation, Yom Kippur
  • Image | By AmyBeth Gibbs | September 17, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Awe, Beginnings, Forgiveness, God, Judaism, Love, Rosh Hashanah, Tradition, Wonder, Yom Kippur
  • The question is not, “What happens when we die?” Nobody really knows. The real question is, “What happens when we stop living?” The stoicism we face on a daily basis is a symptom of a larger illness called a dually-dulled life. Our lives can be hypnotized by the monotonous commutes,...
    Reading | By Nathan C. Walker | February 24, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), 5th Principle (Conscience & Democracy), Belief, Calling, Challenge, Change, Character, Direct Experience, Easter, Gratitude, Homecoming / Ingathering, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Respect, Trust, Unitarian Universalism, Worth, Yom Kippur
  • Note: This ritual involves writing grievances on a piece of paper and casting them into a flame. All our lives we have been told to seek that which is good, to turn our faces from the dark and toward the light, toward beauty, toward truth. But the truth is that the world is not always good. The...
    Ritual | By Jay E Abernathy, Jr | January 21, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Brokenness, Forgiveness, Letting Go, Vulnerability, Wholeness, Yom Kippur
  • (May be read responsively) For every time we make a mistake and we decide to start again: We light this chalice. For every time we are lonely and we let someone be our friend: We light this chalice. For every time we are disappointed and we choose to hope: We light this chalice.
    Chalice Lighting | By Maureen Killoran | January 21, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Acceptance, Beginnings, Community, Compassion, Forgiveness, Healing, Letting Go, Meaning, Relationships, Sorrow, Unitarian Universalism, Yom Kippur
  • Poem Try to Praise the Mutilated World , by Adam Zagajewski (translated from the Polish) Try to praise the mutilated world. Remember June's long days, and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew. The nettles that methodically overgrow the abandoned homesteads of exiles. You must praise the...
    Homily | By Kathleen Hepler | January 21, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Awe, Beauty, Direct Experience, Judaism, Responsibility, Spirituality, Unity, Wonder, Yom Kippur
  • We light our chalice, symbol of our faith, For truth, sought through a questioning heart and an attentive mind; And for love, pursued through obstacles inside and outside our own human heart; And for forgiveness, and all it entails— The place where truth and love meet and merge.
    Chalice Lighting | By Vanessa Rush Southern | January 21, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Courage, Forgiveness, Healing, Hope, Judaism, Living Our Faith, Love, Relationships, Searching, Truth, Unitarian Universalism, Vulnerability, Yom Kippur