Our Sunday Services

Although Unitarian worship services tend to be less liturgical and ritual-based than those in many traditional churches, our services do contain a number of common elements which move the gathered community through an hour-long experience of centering, reflecting and returning.  These common elements are:

  • Gathering Music – a time to enter quietly into the spirit of community in preparation for worship
  • Welcome and Announcements – welcome and information about the ongoing life and events within the community
  • Opening Words or Invocation – begin the service poetically and name our purpose in gathering
  • Chalice Lighting – the flaming chalice is the most widely used Unitarian Universalist symbol. While its origins are varied, it has come to symbolize the flame of religious freedom in the cup of love and acceptance for all. We light the chalice to begin the service, to call the community together and to signal our  readiness to begin worship.  History of The Flaming Chalice
  • Hymns – singing is a joyous form of self-expression. Blending our voices together reminds us that we are not alone. We sing to awaken our spiritual life and energy, and to praise creation.
  • Story – our stories are for everyone. They allow children, youth and adults alike to explore the morning’s message from another point of view. After the story, we sing to the children as they leave for further exploration in our Relgious Education Program
  • Meditation – with music, words, silence and the opportunity to light candles, congregants participate in a time of reflection and prayer.
  • Readings – chosen to highlight a question, thought or idea that is further explored in the sermon
  • Musical Offerings – are for many the emotional heart of the service, speaking to our deepest needs and longings, expressing our most sublime hopes and dreams. Our worship features a great diversity of musical styles and selections, many of them offered by volunteers.
  • Sermon – the sermon is designed to be the inspirational centrepiece of the service, blending elements from   music, story, song, readings and prayer into one coherent message.  For many Unitarians, the sermon helps to put “life through the fire of thought.” (Unitarian minister and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson) At its best, the sermon is the core element in the transformative experience that the service is creating
  • Offertory – Unitarian Universalist congregations are all self-supporting. The ministries, programs, worship and outreach of the congregation depend upon the tangible contributions of its members and friends. Supporters of the church’s Vision transform their gifts into ministry by the act of giving. Many members pledge monthly or yearly to support the church’s ministries, but the weekly collection is an important act of generosity on the part of all who attend.
  • Closing Words – a reminder to live the coming days in the spirit of our Unitarian Universalist Faith, with truth, service, justice, acceptance and love as our touchstones.