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Transcendence addresses our spiritual connection and dependence on the natural world and the interdependent web.


  • Strengthen UU Identity; 

  • Religious Humanism

  • Feel gratitude for our planet; 

  • Experience a sense of connection; Embrace our belonging and/or role in the Spirit of Life​


Timing ​

  • mid-April

  • Principle Three | Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth

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

  • Principle Five | The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process

  • Shared Values | connection to the ideal, integrity, awe, joy

  • Related Concepts | transcendentalists, Spirit of Life, Earth Day

Explore & Engage



Key Elements
  • Feel gratitude for our planet; Hear the call to care for our eco-system 

  • Experience a sense of connection and our belonging and/or part in the Spirit of Life.

  • Reflect on the renewal of life, possibility, and good, as seen in the stories of Easter, Passover, Holi.

  • Encouragement to participate in justice projects.

  • April

  • Principle Seven | Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

  • Shared Values | Interdependence, Justice, Pluralism, Transformation

  • Related Concepts | Earth Day, stewardship, renewal, Easter, good can prevail



STJ#1067, Mother Earth, Beloved Garden

(calling dir, UU composer)

oMother Earth, beloved garden, living treasure under foot,
All our days you ground our being: sage and thistle, grass and root.
Herbs to heal us, plants to feed us, land to till and tend and plow.
With the pendant, deep as midnight, North we ask you: be here now.


oFather Air, your inspiration holds together all that lives.
As we breathe, our minds see clearly, leading us to love and give.
Raging whirlwind, whispered breezes, violent gale and gentle cloud.
With the blade as sharp as morning, East we ask you: be here now.


oBrother Fire, great transformer, share the passion of the sun.
In our hearths, your warmth revives us, cooks our food and heats our homes.
Flaming candle, blood within us, blazing desert, will to grow.
With the wand, directing power, South we ask you: be here now.


oSister Water, ever flowing, ocean, river, pond and rain.
Drink we now and quench our thirsting, cleanse us, we begin again.
Mist and ice, a host of changes, all that courage will allow.
With the cup, the holy chalice, West we ask you, be here now.


oLover Spirit, intuition in the center of our souls.
In your love we find relation. All connected, we are whole.
Timeless mystery, quiet conscience, deepest values, voice inside.
With the drum and with the cauldron, this we ask you, be our guide.

Worship & Connect

Songs and Hymns

Following are a few options that work well in a Water Communion 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

Who were the Transcendentalists? It's not this simple, but one quote I find useful:

'[The Transcendentalists] praised individualism, self-reliance, and racial and sexual equality. One of their most heretical beliefs was that an individual could attain sublime moments of grace by studying nature and becoming the mortal embodiment of God. The Transcendentalists believed that individuals could have a direct relationship with God without having to go through middlemen such as ministers or religious teachers.

Transcendentalism began as a religious movement within the Unitarian Church. Unlike the Puritans, who believed in original sin, a hostile world, and a predestined universe, the Unitarians believed that the world was basically good and that people could attain salvation through good works. Many Transcendentalists were practicing or former Unitarian ministers, including Emerson and Theodore Parker.


As the movement grew, it responded to the major national preoccupations of expansionism, industrialization, Abolition, women’s rights, and the Civil War. Like Dickinson, the Transcendentalists believed that the country’s new focus on profit was replacing personal craftsmanship and alienating people from their communities and natural surroundings. Transcendentalists sought to restore the vital connection between nature, people, and God.'

- Wendy Martin, The Cambridge Introduction to Emily Dickinson (2007)

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