Holidays and Traditions
UUCOP HOLIDAYS AND TRADITIONS
Water Communion – August-September
Since 1980’s many UU congregations have celebrated a water communion. Members bring to the service a small amount of water from a place that is special to them. During the appointed time in the service, people one by one pour their water together into a large bowl. As the water is added, the person who brought it tells why this water is special to them. The combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources.
Fall Equinox – September
A time to remember cycles, seasons, the inevitability of change. A time to make an inner turn as nature makes a turn of Her own.
First Nations Day – October
“Indigenous Peoples Day” reimagines Columbus Day, changing a celebration of colonialism into an opportunity to reveal historical truths about the genocide and oppression of indigenous peoples in the Americas, to organize against current injustices, and to celebrate indigenous resistance.
Dia De Los Muertos – October
Our Día de los muertos service celebrates our remembrances, grief, the cycle of life and death, and we honor those who have gone before us by including traditions sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed.
Thanksgiving / Guest at your Table – November
Our Thanksgiving service includes themes of gratitude to God, gratitude for loved ones, gathering the family together, breaking bread together, Native American perspective on the holiday, Puritans, remembering those less fortunate.
Winter Solstice (Yule) – December
Winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Traditionally, it is a time of both foreboding and expectancy, as the longest night leads to the return of the sun. “Solstice” in Latin means “the sun standing still.” We celebrate with themes light amid darkness; the death of nature and the cycle of life; the darkness just before the dawn; the miracle of every birth.
Soup and Discussion Meetings – January and February
In lieu of our traditional services, we meet in January and February to have soup and snacks and discuss themes that are important to our congregation.
Justice Sunday – March (Spring)
Justice Sunday is an annual program organized by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) that connects participants with people on the front lines of today’s human-rights movement. It offers meaningful advocacy actions for people of all ages. On Justice Sunday—occurring each spring—Unitarian Universalist congregations come together to take action on one pressing human rights issue.
Spring Equinox – March
We celebrate the lengthening of the days; nature coming to life again; joy; hopefulness; reawakening to ourselves after a long winter.
Poetry Sunday – April (National Poetry Month)
During this service members read or recite a favorite poem, and we contribute to a shared group poem.
Earth Day – April
Unitarian-Universalism’s seventh principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part” makes this a day to celebrate religiously. Themes include earth-centered spirituality; connecting to the divine through nature; caretaking of the environment; the interdependent web.
Membership Sunday – May or June
We honor the newest members of our congregation. This celebration invites those who have recently “signed the book” to come before the congregation with the worship leader. The new members might share a responsive reading with the congregation or recite a bond of fellowship or covenant together.
Flower Ceremony – May or June
American Unitarian-Universalists have celebrated the Flower Ceremony since 1940. Sometimes referred to as Flower Communion or Flower Festival, it is annual ritual that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community. In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower. Each person places a flower on the altar or in a shared vase. The congregation blesses our flowers, and they’re redistributed. Each person brings home a different flower than the one they brought.
Summer Solstice – June
Our Summer Solstice service is a celebration of the longest day and can include blessing of the earth, meditations on the four directions and meditations on planting and gardening.
Freedom Picnic – July
We celebrate Independence Day with a beach-side picnic – potluck and barbecue.
Fifth Sunday Potlucks
On months that have five Sundays we meet for potlucks and fellowship.