What to Expect in Worship
Unitarian Universalist worship styles vary by congregation, and even within congregations. It is certainly the case at AUUF that in matters of format of the services, we are not afraid to experiment. Most services are somewhat traditional but not overly formal. Some services, particularly ones that are created and presented by members, are, shall we say, unique. Often, the service calls on those in attendance to break into smaller groups to discuss a topic among themselves.
Elements of a typical AUUF Sunday morning worship service include:
- Words of welcome
- Lighting a flaming chalice, the symbol of our faith
- Music, both instrumental and vocal and in a variety of styles
- A time for lifting up the joys and concerns of the congregation
- An offering, collecting financial donations for the congregation or for justice work in the community.
- A story read to, or told to, the children gathered in a group
- Brief readings—ancient or contemporary
- A sermon given by a professional minister, a guest speaker, or a member of the congregation
At the end of the service the chalice is extinguished. Please stay for coffee hour!
We celebrate holidays with special services: our Bread Communion marks Thanksgiving, the Christmas Eve service is magical and moving, Easter is celebrated with the Flower Communion. We nod to St. Valentine with our Love service. A somber and important service marks the Day of the Dead. Once a year, the women of the AUUF present The Women’s Service, and the men present The Men’s Service. Though music is a constant thread running through all our services, we reserve one Sunday for the invigorating Music service. At the end of children’s Religious Exploration classes for the year, the children and youth of the Fellowship become our teachers during the R. E. service.