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16. What's a chalice? A symbol of our faith...

At the beginning of every worship service and often at the beginning of a gathering of Unitarian Universalists, we light a chalice. Here's an explanation of the chalice symbol.

After being reverently lit by a child, a parishioner, a family, or the worship leader, the chalice (usually a candle) is allowed to remain burning during the worship service or meeting, and then is ceremonially extinguished at the end of the service or meeting.

At First Parish, Chalice lighting words are usually spoken or read by the worship leader.

Chalice extinguishing words are usually printed in the order of service and are recited together as the chalice flame is extinguished: "We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth, the warmth of community, or the fire of commitment. These we carry in our hearts until we are together again.” (by Elizabeth Selle Jones)