Holidays and Traditions
Our community holds several seasonal and special celebrations throughout the year. These include:
Water Communion: a distinctively UU ceremony celebrated the second Sunday of September. Everyone brings a small amount of water from a place that is special to them. During the service, the water is poured into a large bowl. The combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources.
Dia de Los Muertos: This service is held the first Sunday in November. It is a time when families and friends gather to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed away. The holiday is believed to have originated from the Aztecs and other Nahua people living in what is now central Mexico. We embrace their cyclical view of the universe and view death as an integral, ever-present part of life
Thanksgiving: a service reflecting gratitude and including a Breads of the World Ceremony. The ceremony involves inviting members of the congregation to bring bread from their own cultural or ethnic background. The bread is then shared among the congregation , symbolizing the unity and diversity of the community.
Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve: a service of gratitude rotating among the partner congregations of Oheb Sholom, The Islamic Center of Reading, Wyomissing Church of the Brethren and Immanuel United Church of Christ. This service is held the evening before Thanksgiving.
Christmas Eve: an evening service that often includes “lessons and carols” and sometimes a story that conveys the spirit of Christmas. This service includes a candle lighting ritual in which church lights are dimmed and people pass a flame from candle to candle until everyone’s candle is lit.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday: a justice-oriented service held in January recognizing the birth of the civil rights leader. His inspiring words and actions remind us to work towards racial, economic and international justice.
Easter: For many Unitarian Universalists, the resurrection narrative is often more metaphorical than literal. Many kinds of resurrection can be emphasized: rebirth of nature; resurrecting dreams and hopes; resurrecting relationships.
Youth Service: an annual all-ages service coordinated by our youth, their advisors, the Director of Religious Education, and Minister spotlighting what our children have learned throughout the church year.
Flower Communion: a distinctively UU ceremony often celebrated in created in 1923 by Rev Norbert Capek. The Flower communion is an annual service that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity and community. In this ceremony, everyone brings a flower and places it on the altar or in a shared vase. The congregation and minister bless the flowers, and they’re redistributed. Everyone leaves with a different flower than they came with.