Our Worship

Our worship services draw from Jewish, Christian, and earth-centered traditions in the west, as well as content from the remaining branches of human religious culture. We also draw upon personal witness, topical society issues, and other sources. All of these are then focused within the realm of Unitarian Universalist principles and beliefs. A typical service begins with the sounding of our singing bowl. Sermon topics and content are planned and developed by our minister and the Worship Committee. Three times a month, services are minister-led; the remaining Sunday is either lay-led or features a guest preacher.

“Our worship may vary widely in form and theology, but for Unitarian Universalist gatherings to be effective, worship must reach out and stretch us in several different directions. Good worship will strive for height. It should be a ‘celebration of life,’ to use the favorite definition of worship of the late Unitarian minister Von Ogden Vogt. Making a joyful noise (even if the hymn is unfamiliar) and reaffirming the goodness of being are important aspects of all true worship. But authentic worship also has depth. That is, it has a meditative dimension — acknowledging among us the brokenness and grief, and estrangement and remorse. In the dimension, worship needs to have breadth to be inclusive. That means more than simply using gender-inclusive language (as important as we take that to be), more than remembering to mourn with those who mourn as well as rejoice with those who rejoice. It means using simple, familiar forms that will set newcomers at ease, rather than puzzling them with unfamiliar rituals or patterns of communication. By no means does this breadth require a sacrifice of all sense of tradition. On the contrary, we must gratefully acknowledge our debt to the past. We have arrived where we are because of all that lies behind us. Finally, effective worship asks us to stretch forward. It has a dimension of aspiration.” from Our Chosen Faith. An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism. John A. Buehrens and F. Forrester Church. Beacon Press, 1989.

Rites of Passage:

Dedication of Children
Coming of Age
Services of Marriage (Weddings)
At Time of Death (Memorial Services)

–> Music The music which accompanies our worship is led by Georgia Bills. Adult Choir is open to anyone who enjoys singing. This outstanding group delights the congregation with Sunday morning anthems and several special performances during the congregation year.  Guest soloists. Violin, flute, piano, voice: instrumentalists and singers are always needed to provide special music for Sunday services. Please let Georgia know if you are available to share your music. She can be reached at music@uuandover.org

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