Holidays and Traditions
Celebrations in our Unitarian Universalist congregation reflect the various sources of our faith. We celebrate the traditional holidays of Christmas and Easter, but we also honor other traditions that come from the different roots and sources that we draw on for our spiritual gatherings.
We begin our church year in September with the Water Ceremony, or Water Communion. This tradition was first introduced into UU services in the 1980’s. Members bring a small amount of water that they have gathered from a place that is special to them and at the appointed time in the service they are called forward to add their contribution to a common vessel. The calling forward is based on the points of the compass, with each cardinal point representing a different spiritual place where the member believes they are coming from. The water is later boiled and used as a type of “holy water” in special events such as child dedications.
First Parish traditionally celebrates the Christmas season with two special services. The first is a Sunday service which showcases a “no rehearsal” Christmas pageant, where children and adults play the traditional roles with no rehearsal, but with great gusto and amusement. The second service is a Christmas Eve service that features traditional Christmas music, songs and readings and is capped off by a candlelight singing of Silent Night. Many extended family members and visitors from the Cohasset community join us for that joyous occasion.
Later in the year, we celebrate a Flower Communion. This is an annual observance that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity and community. Originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek of Pragu, Czechoslovakia, the flower ceremony was introduced to the United States by his widow, the Reverend Maya Capek. In the Ceremony, each member brings a flower and the flowers are gathered and blessed. The flowers are then re-distributed and each member brings home a different flower from the one they brought.
Summer Lay-led Services
During the summer months normal services are suspended and members of the congregation lead slightly shorter services on topics of their choosing. Themes have included poetry, the history of the church in Cohasset, the principals of Taoism, and many others.