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Illumination celebrates the light in our world and provides us the opportunity to re-commit ourselves to our UU faith. Flame, fire, and the chalice are key symbols of Unitarian Universalism. We often talk of “the light of truth, the fire of commitment, the warmth of community” and the “spark” given to others when we live our faith in action.


  • Strengthen UU Identity

  • Renew commitment to UU ideals

  • Renew covenant with self


Timing ​

  • early January, ideally January 6

  • The week before is ideal for a letting-go type service

  • Principle Four | A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

  • Shared Values | Transformation


Explore & Engage

The Healing Cup: The Story of the Flaming Chalice

by Noreen Kimball

"Many Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships start their worship service on Sunday morning by lighting a flame inside a chalice. This flaming chalice is a symbol for Unitarian Universalists just as the cross and the Star of David are symbols for other religious groups. The story of how the flaming chalice became our symbol is an interesting one and it begins during the Second World War."

Read the Story


Paper Cutout Chalices


by David Snedden

Make decorations for the day...

Worship & Connect

Songs and Hymns

Following are a few options that work well in a service, small group worship, or to listen to at home. For a more comprehensive selection, see the UUA list of Songbooks and Hymnals and the UUA List of Music for Online Worship. AUUMM also offers resources for UU music leaders. Please be responsible for respecting copyright as necessary. If you own the UU Hymnals and you're observing the day by yourself or with your family in your home, and not streaming online, you're most likely covered but check anyway. Besides legal requirements, we ask that you help support the artists. Note you must contact all individual artists directly for their permission to use their song/s. Being mentioned here as a suggestion does not constitute in any way permission to use their song/s.

Deepen & Reflect

Inspirational Lights


Online Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibit with information and activities: Illuminating the facts of deep-sea bioluminescence


Firefly Forests

This beautiful time-lapse video by Vincent Brady captures the magic of fireflies in the summer. (via Slate)

The Milky Way

An amazing time lapse video shot in South Dakota


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