Our Symbol: The Flaming Chalice
A flame within a chalice (a cup with a stem and foot) is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Many of our congregations kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worships and feature the chalice symbol prominently. UU’s may also wear clothing and jewlery with a chalice symbol and some have a chalice at home.
Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee (USC) during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love.
To Unitarian Universalists today the flaming chalice is a symbol of hope, the sacred, the quest for truth, the warmth of community, the light of reason, and more. A special chalice is used at each General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. In 2011, before GA in Charlotte, NC, the chalice visited our Fellowship in Franklin, NC for a special service about GA.
We light a flaming chalice in worship to create a reverent space for reflection, prayer, meditation, and singing.