"God is the soul of our soul and the life of our life, closer than breath and one's heartbeat is He. Every person is the embodiment of God. We light the spark of God when we serve others and bring light and joy to others"Worship theory
- Norbert Čapek
- What is worship? - what Unitarians and UUs mean by worship - the celebration of ultimate worth
- Praying as Unitarian Universalists: How can we pray with integrity, grace, power, and purpose? - by Wayne Arnason And Kathleen Rolenz
Unitarian and UU resources
- UK Unitarian worship resources - chalice lightings, meditations, prayers, hymns, and ideas for intergenerational worship
- UALM resources page - a very comprehensive collection of links and resources, including themes for worship, readings and links to online sacred texts, including the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Qur'an and early Jewish writings
- Unitarian TV - sermons, meditations, reflections etc on video
- ICUU monthly chalice lightings
- UUA worship resources - chalice lightings, meditations, prayers, themes for reflection, and ideas for alternative and multigenerational services
- Creating Effective Intergenerational Worship by the Rev. Greg Ward (UU)
- UU videos at Unitarian Universalism TV
- UUWorld spirituality section - meditations, nature, poetry, personal stories, wisdom texts, practices
- UU Quotes - a collection of quotes from Unitarian, Universalist, Unitarian Universalist and Brahmo Samaj sources
- Unitarian Wisdom (Hay Quaker)
- Bristol Unitarians - poetry and reflections
- Adrian Worsfold's spiritual resources and service material, including liturgies and prayers, readings, responses, hymns and music
- New Unity sermons and worship words - meditations, chalice lightings, closing blessings
- Nonconformist pioneers - the first women and LGBT UU ministers; links to stories of famous UU women
- Harvard Square Library - Prayers of Power - prayers from great spiritual teachers including many Unitarians and Universalists
- Worship material by Rev Ant Howe - prayers, chalice lightings, benedictions etc
- Worship resources by Yvonne Aburrow - meditations, prayers, chalice lightings and closing blessings
- Best of UU: Prayers, reflections, poetry and sermons collected by Jess
- Flower Communion - originated by Norbert Čapek - article by Reginald Zottoli
- Flower communion articles by Andrew Brown: Watchmen & women (2010); Hard particularities with profound love and trust (2009)
- Water communion - UUA Worship Web
- The Nadder Valley Inclusive Worship Service by Lucy Harris
- Unitarian liturgies by Adrian Worsfold
Famous Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists
If you do a service about a famous UU, try to focus on what their inspiring qualities were and what we can learn from them, rather than just delivering a history lesson.
- Robert Travers Herford (1860 - 1950) - wrote about Jewish texts, the Pharisees, and contributed hugely to scholarship on the Talmud and Torah
- Rammohun Roy, Mary Carpenter and the Brahmo Samaj
- Famous UUs - a website with biographies of many famous Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists
- Harvard Square Library - a collection of articles about famous Unitarians
- Christmas poetry - modern Christmas poetry by lots of different poets, including Ursula Fanthorpe, John Betjeman, John Masefield, and Benjamin Zephaniah
- The ghosts of Unitarian Christmas (UUWorld)
- Why do UUs celebrate Christmas?
- How UUs saved Christmas
- The Unitarians who saved Christmas
- UK Spirituality - quotes, meditations, poetry, prayers and meal blessings from various religious traditions
- Beliefnet - information about many different spiritual traditions, including prayers and reflections; the famous Belief-O-Matic questionnaire which helps you work out what religion you are; and a page on Unitarian Universalism
- Jesus in Love - the blog of Kittredge Cherry, MCC minister and author, with stories of LGBT saints, LGBT prayers, LGBT spirituality and art. Very inspiring.
- LGBT Religious Archives Network - profiles of inspiring LGBT spiritual leaders, plus general resources and historical material
- Poetry Chaikhana - a comprehensive collection of mystical and spiritual poetry from around the world and from all religions; there is also a daily email that you can subscribe to and a blog with the daily poem. This site and the daily email has given me huge amounts of inspiration over the years, thanks to the lovely Ivan Granger who maintains it.
- Poetry Archive - here you can hear poets reading their own work
- Sacred texts - sacred and esoteric texts from around the world, organised by religion and theme
- School of the Seasons - align yourself with the rhythms of the Earth - a collection of ideas and traditions for celebrating the seasonal folk festivals - see the archive page for a listing of everything on the site
- Tel Shemesh - a site full of information and resources about earth-based and feminist Judaism
- The Gnostic Gospels - The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary Gnostic scriptures -- texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" -- scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth. My personal favourite is the Thunder, Perfect Mind.
- The Sri Guru Granth Sahib - the Sikh holy book online, readable page-by-page or searchable for keywords
- The Tanakh (Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim) - Jewish Bible translated by the Jewish Publication Society (always a good corrective to Christian interpretations of the text)
- Tipitaka: the Pali Canon - sacred Buddhist scriptures
- World Prayers - Gathering the great prayers from all spiritual traditions around the world into a unified nonprofit archive; for the purpose of inspiration, study and cross cultural appreciation.
- Aaron's World of Stories - Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Trickster Tales, Animal Tales, Myths, Legends ~ East Asian, Southeast Asian, Asian Indian, African, Middle Eastern, Scandinavian, North American, South American
- American folklore - everything from Brer Rabbit to Native American stories
- Anansi stories - traditional African stories
- Chabad.org Stories - stories of Jewish life, mystics and sages
- Google search for folktales (this is the best search term to use unless you have a specific story in mind)
- Heaven or Hell - a dog story (I know we Unitarians don't believe in Hell, but this is a great story)
- Pitara - folktales for children
- Sufi stories and poetry from the mystical Islamic tradition of Sufism
- Taoist Stories don’t always have a clear moral; they serve to let us know that there are two ways of seeing this world: one, where we add up all the calculations, make judgements based on appearance and all the reasonable assumptions our senses come to – and another, where we can see straight to the heart of the matter, bypassing all the usual criteria and using our inner sight.
- Taoist stories at Tom Thumb - Taoism always chooses images like water and childhood to observe that we can be partners with the universe; it's the original 'go with the flow' philosophy.
- The Taoist Farmer
- The three wise men and the elephant
- What color is God's hat? (podcast; about 5 minutes into the recording) - anyone who was at GA 2010 in Nottingham will remember Stephen Lingwood's wonderful version of this story
- ZenSufi Park - a collection of Zen and Sufi stories and mystical poetry (though some of the stories classified as Zen are actually Sufi)
- 101 Zen Stories - stories from the Japanese tradition of Zen Buddhism
- Unitarian Engagement groups - deepening the spiritual life of participants; creating community; learning the principles of “right relationship”; deepening your connection to your church/chapel.
- The Art of Conversation: A Reflection on Spiritual Practices in Liberal Churches, by James Ishmael Ford
Personal spiritual practice
- A Unitarian Universalist Prayer Bead Practice by Erik Walker Wikstrom
- Karen's Prayer Beads page
- Lectio Divina for UUs by Tina Simson
You can suggest additions to this page. Does your Unitarian community have a page of prayers, meditations, readings or sermons? Do let us know.