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Remembrance

Remembrance is a time for Unitarian Universalists to remember the loved ones who have passed away. Around the world, many cultures believe that 'the veil' between the physical and afterworld is thinnest at this time of year and Festivals of the Dead are held in many places.

Objectives:

  • ​Honor and remember the dead

  • Celebrate lives lived, and those to come in the circle of life

  • Feel connected to those who came before

 

Timing ​

  • Shared Values | Interdependence, Love, Gratitude, Family, Community, Respect
     

  • Sources | Spirituality in Earth-based traditions

Explore & Engage

Develop Rituals

According to the Wendt Center: "Rituals serve as our way of maintaining a connection with, or cherishing the memory of, our loved one after they are gone. Rituals aren’t limited to the immediate time after the death and can offer opportunities for remembering and healing in the months and years to come. And rituals do not have to be formal occurrences, they can be small, casual, and frequent. Many cultures have routines/rituals to mark a year or the passage of time. We encourage you to consider the rituals present in your culture or religion. [...]

Connecting with others in our grief can reduce the isolation that is often felt. Consider how you can invite others to engage in ritual with you. And if you would rather engage in rituals alone, that is fine as well. There is no right way to grieve.  If you need a few suggestions here are some to consider:

  • Share photos along with memories and invite others to do the same

  • Cook their favorite meal with others (in person or virtually)

  • Create a playlist of their favorite songs and share it

  • Have a virtual watch party of their favorite movie

  • Hike their favorite trail (with others or alone)

  • Plant their favorite flowers and invite others to do the same

  • Incorporate their favorite color into what you wear"

Other ideas for Remembrance rituals for individuals and small groups:

Create a Home Altar

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Sometimes, we need a special way to celebrate loved ones who have passed away or to comfort us when times are tough.

 

One thing you can do is gather the things you need to create a small chalice and worship kit. That way, when you want to use it, it’s ready to go.

 

There is no right or wrong choice when you decide what goes in your kit; it’s about what’s important to you.

Time for All Ages

Worship & Connect

Songs & Hymns

Following are a few options that work well in 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.

Making Meaning

​There are a lot of excellent resources on WorshipWeb. A few that speak to me include:

Deepen & Reflect

  • Pick a short reading from a webpage such as Farewell Poetry and Readings, or from another source of your choice. Read it out loud three times, pausing in between to consider how you feel impacted by the words.

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