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UU Holy Days

This page was last modified 10/24/05

Why should Unitarian Universalists have their own Holy Days?

Written by the Senior High RE Class at the
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook
October 2001

See links at bottom of page

         We chose to have the celebration of these Holy Days in commemoration of Michael Servetus to remind us of our origins and heritage. While most UU's are knowledgeable about the modern issues that UU's are considering, we may be less familiar with the long and deep heritage that we have. The concept of one God, as in Judaism and Islam for example, is ancient. The Trinity, three gods in one-God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-has been a part of most Christian's Faith since the Fourth Century. During the Reformation only a few reformers were willing to question the Trinity. One of those who did was a brilliant scholar, Michael Servetus, who died for his beliefs in 1553. His writings and death had a profound effect on others who continued to develop Unitarianism in Poland, Holland and especially in Transylvania.

         Many UU's have home celebrations for other religions. For example, Christmas, Chanukah, Passover, and Easter are observed with Christmas trees, candles, the giving of presents, singing songs, or special meals. There is no religious holiday for UU's with a time to celebrate our religion at home. These Holy Days will give people and families an opportunity to set aside a place and time for lighting the Chalice, the UU symbol, and exploring each of our Seven UU Principles for what that principle means to us and how it effects our thoughts and actions.

         In many religions people learn their creeds and dogmas. However, while many UU's might know the Ten Commandments by heart, few of us know the Seven Principles by heart. Do you? These Principles were adopted by the UUA after much discussion and consideration. When we know what they are and what they mean, then we can discuss whether or how we agree with them or feel that they appropriately describe our religion.

         If we have our own set of Holy Days, it will give us an opportunity to develop a better understanding of our religion and how it enriches our lives and serves the wider human society. As our knowledge grows, we will be more comfortable when discussing our beliefs with others. This may introduce Unitarian Universalist ideals to those who are UU's in spirit but do not yet know it.

         How will we celebrate? We are suggesting that the holy days begin on the Sunday before Michael Servetus' death day, October 27th, or on his death day when it falls on a Sunday.

         During the week each day in our homes we ask you to consider one of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles. The home ceremony would consist of lighting of a chalice, saying together the principle for that day, and then reading something appropriate. You may wish to do this before you begin supper letting the Chalice burn in the middle of the table. At the end of the supper, extinguish the Chalice with an appropriate saying.

Senior High play "This is yoUUr life Margaret Fuller!!" October 2005

"Michael Servetus Your Words Lit a Fire" to tune of "We Didn 't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel October 2003

Senior High Play on "Servetus: The Question of Evil" October 2002

Senior High Play on "Servetus" October 2001

Suggested Readings for the UU Holy Days

Power Point presentation "A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning: Michael Servetus and The Errors of the Trinity"

Books written about Michael Servetus