Holidays and Traditions
Through the church year Unitarian Church of Norfolk celebrates a number of holidays and transitions.
- Youth bridging service
- Teen presented service
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
- All souls day
- Flower communion
- Blues Sunday
American Unitarian Universalism recognizes a diverse collection of events and milestones but those above are commonly celebrated by this congregation. Brief descriptions of several having a distinctly Unitarian Universalist flavor or of local origin follow.
Youth Bridging Service
Youth Bridging Service celebrates two significant transitions in the lives of the church youth, coming of age at the transition from grade school to middle school, and from graduation from high school and entry into the ranks of our young adults.
In this service, the congregants place flowers into a basket or other vessel, they are blessed, and then distributed to the congregants. This ritual celebrates beauty, community, human uniqueness and diversity. The ritual originated in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek of Prague and was later introduced to the United States by his widow, Rev. Maya Capek. The UUA offers additional information.
Homecoming and Water Ceremony
UCN celebrates water ceremony at homecoming, the first Sunday after Labor Day. While on summer holiday, congregants gather water samples from places that are special to them. Returning to church after holiday, the congregation collects this water and blesses it for use in child dedication services and other rituals needing water. The ritual recognizes our unique origins and our coming together for shared worship and spiritual growth. It also represents the renewal of the church by the shared contributions of the congregation during the coming year.
All Souls Day
This service provides an opportunity for congregants to recognize significant contributors to their life experiences who are no longer alive. Most members recognize parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, significant friends, or mentors.
Our Reverend Danny Reid began this tradition when he invited Too Hot Blues, a local blues band, to play service music. The service has slowly evolved to recognize the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity through blues music. Most recently, members of the congregation have performed in trio or quartet configurations. My first Sunday at UCN was 2005 Blues Sunday so this service is a bit special to your web editor. My second Blues Sunday featured the music of Louis Armstrong in a service dedicated to the restoration of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.