Holidays and Traditions
Yes, Virginia, Unitarian Universalists celebrate Christmas! GBAUUF observes many traditional holidays such as Christmas. Other annual lay-led services celebrated include:
This unique UU ritual, typically held on Mother’s Day, celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity and community.
Originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek of Prague, Czechoslovakia, the Flower Ceremony was introduced to the United States by Rev. Maya Capek, Norbert’s widow.
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 bless the flowers, and they’re redistributed. Each person brings home a different flower than the one they brought.
Mingling of the Waters
This service is held the first Sunday after Labor Day, when fall programming returns. Everyone is invited to bring either “living waters” from wherever their travels or activities have led them over the summer or can use “symbolic” water provided at the service. Participants share his/her personal story as the water is poured and mingled into a community pitcher.
For many years, we have welcomed the sun back with readings, song and maybe even a little dancing on the Sunday closest to the winter solstice.
Other Annual Observations
Music Sunday, Poetry Sunday, Storytelling Sunday, Pride Sunday, Pet Blessing and United Nations Sunday are other popular services we have held.