Unitarian Universalism includes aspects of many of the world’s religions. Traditional holidays from various religions are celebrated together in UU congregations. Most congregations celebrate the Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter; the Jewish holidays Passover and Yom Kippur; and the Pagan Winter Solstice, among other holidays.

In addition to these traditional religious holidays, many UU congregations also honor secular holidays including Earth Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor 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.

There are two holidays that many UU congregations celebrate that are unique to our faith: the Flower Communion and the Water Communion. Both holidays are ceremonies that celebrate our Unitarian Universalist community and the importance of each individual’s unique contributions to that community.

Flower Communion

The Flower Communion takes place in the spring. Each congregant brings a flower to the Sunday service and places it in a shared vase near the podium. During the ceremony, the flowers are blessed by the minister, and each person selects a flower from the bouquet other than the one that he or she brought.

Reginald Zottoli wrote “The significance of the flower communion is that as no two flowers are alike, so no two people are alike, yet each has a contribution to make. Together the different flowers form a beautiful bouquet. Our common bouquet would not be the same without the unique addition of each individual flower, and thus it is with our church community: it would not be the same without each and every one of us. Thus this service is a statement of our community.”

The Flower communion service was originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek, who founded the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. The service was later brought to the United States by his wife, Maya.

Water Communion

The Water Communion was first held at a Unitarian Universalist worship service in the 1980s. Many UU congregations now hold a Water Communion once a year, often at the beginning of the new church year (September).

Members bring a small amount of water from a place that is special to them or use water provided in a pitcher at the front of the sanctuary. During the appointed time in the service, people one by one pour their water into a large community bowl. The combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources. It is often then blessed by the congregation and  is later boiled and used as the congregation’s “holy water” in ceremonies and similar events.


Unitarian Universalist religious ceremonies, like the rest of our faith, are always unique, always changing, and are determined by the beliefs of the individuals participating. Some ceremonies within Unitarian Universalism, like weddings, often follow traditional formats. Others, such as our Coming of Age services, are wildly creative and constantly evolving. Please contact us with questions about weddings, memorials, child dedications, and more.

New Member Welcome

Several times a year, we welcome new members (those who have signed the membership book) into the congregation during a Sunday service. Adults are not required to be or become baptized when joining the Unitarian Universalist faith. Learn more about becoming a member.