Our Order of Worship

FINAL-Chalice-shadow

The printed Order of Service at UUCA is more than a playbill describing what will happen in the service. It is a theological document that reflects our understanding of how spiritual growth and deepening take place.

Here are typical elements in our Order of Worship:

GATHERING

We affirm that the journey of religion begins with personal experience that awakens a sense of wonder, a feeling of transcendence that helps us perceive the unity that connects us and all things. And so, we begin with music – choral or instrumental – and words intended to elicit that feeling in order to call us to worship. This time is also grounded in our Unitarian Universalist tradition with the lighting of the chalice and the singing of an opening hymn.

We celebrate that ours is a multigenerational worshipping community by providing a Time for All Ages that uses story, ritual and other elements to draw us together. Children and adults carry a light kindled from the chalice as they leave the sanctuary for classes and other activities.

CONNECTING

This section opens with the Worship Associate offering personal reflections that invite the congregation to engage with the topic of the day. The Worship Associate then invites the congregation into an expression of abundance and gratitude in the collection of the Offering.

CENTERING

Moments of Spoken and Silent Meditation invite us to settle in and be present to our true selves and to each other so that our hearts might be open to the work of growing faith. Members of the congregation are invited to light candles or drop stones in water to acknowledge and honor the joys and sorrows that they brought to worship that day

REFLECTING

The message of the day is framed in prose, poetry and music. It invites us to use all of our senses, all of our intelligences to engage in the journey of faith. We understand this to be the work of discerning that which we can trust so that we might learn to live with compassion, integrity, service and joy. A central element here is the sermon, which Ralph Waldo Emerson described as “life passed through the fire of thought.”

RETURNING

As our gathering ends, we pause to acknowledge that the work of the congregation continues beyond Sunday worship. Here we welcome newcomers and offer announcements of activities in the congregation in the days ahead. We close with words and music that affirm our unity and invite us to continued growth.