Unitarian Universalism and First Church have special celebrations, each with its own history and tradition. Unitarian Universalism includes aspects of many of the world’s religions. Holidays from various religions are celebrated in Unitarian Universalist congregations. Many congregations recognize or celebrate Christmas and Easter, Passover and Yom Kippur, and the Winter Solstice, among other holidays.

Secular Holidays

In addition to traditional religious holidays, many of our congregations also honor secular holidays including Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. While these are not traditionally spiritual holidays, Unitarian Universalism finds spiritual meaning and affinity with our principles in the ideas behind these and other secular holidays.

Multi-generational Services

Throughout the year, we hold a number of special multi-generational services on our campuses.

September, Water Communion

Whoever you are, wherever you’ve been– the uniquely Unitarian Universalist Water Ceremony offers you a chance for a Welcoming Community. Feel free to bring a little water from your summertime– either from a vacation spot, or from your kitchen faucet. And prepare to write a sentence about its origins or meaning to you now.

October, Pumpkin Carving (Museum District)

On the Sunday preceding Halloween, families gather in the Fireside Room during the children’s religious education class time to carve and decorate pumpkins.

All Souls Day

Our annual “Day of Remembrance” service is usually celebrated in late October or early November. Bring a photo or memento of a departed loved one to church for our memory table. The children attend this multi-generational service.

November, Bread Communion

Please bring some bread to share, perhaps associated with your heritage or has some other special meaning. We will share our bread (and the stories of our bread) with each others. This multi-generational service is a uniquely Unitarian Universalist service, and a fun one to bring a friend to. We often take a special collection for our international UU Partners.

Christmas Eve

The Christmas Eve service is a traditional candlelight “lessons and carols” service. People of all religious faiths are invited to celebrate the universal message of Christmas with us.

At Museum District, an early worship service on Christmas Eve is designed with children in mind. Children participate in a traditional pageant depicting the Christmas story.

January, Circle of Life

The first Sunday after New Year’s Day, we often dedicate our children; name new births; new marriages; honor anniversaries, and recall the departed. Please contact the office if you would like your children dedicated in the church this day, and provide us with names, ages, and which service you attend. Service led by the ministers. Fire Communion is celebrated during or after this service at the Thoreau campus.

Easter Parade (Museum District)

We have an annual drive to collect paper and canned goods for the needy. We then we deliver the donations in an Easter Parade to a nearby service organization (Emergency Aid Coalition).

May, Flower Communion

In honor of Mother’s Day, we dedicate children and babies and we celebrate our unique UU Flower Ceremony. Bring a flower per person to decorate the altar. And you’ll take home a different one, as a symbol of the gifts we bring and enjoy from being in community.

May, Feast of All Good Children (held at the Museum District)

This annual ceremony honors the transition of our children and youth as they move up to the next grade in our Religious Education program. We create one great cake from many sheet cakes and symbolically jump a “fire” to the next level, honoring the changes inherent in growing up.

Coming of Age Ceremony (held at the Museum District)

Coming of Age ceremonies marking the transition from childhood to young adulthood are as old as history. We mark this transition by pairing each youth with an adult mentor, hosting discussions and retreats, emphasizing self-awareness and service to the church and community.