Worship at First Parish
Worship in Unitarian Universalist congregations may seem unfamiliar to some: we draw from a great variety of sources, from ancient texts to modern poetry. Our services include some traditional elements such as hymns and prayers, but the content of these elements is not limited to one particular theology. Similarly, music in worship may come from traditional western sources, but we also include many other diverse expressions.
And we don’t just worship on Sundays! Worship takes place in many ways here at First Parish. When we gather in a small reflection group, come together for a special concert or our monthly Evening Vespers; when we engage in adult learning that helps us dismantle systems of oppression, or deepen our spiritual lives, we open ourselves to the power of communal worship too. The ways we serve can also be worshipful: feeding the hungry at Watertown’s Community Fridge, working for justice, and helping to heal and bless our world.
This community gathers for Sunday Worship on Sunday mornings at 10:30am in our Sanctuary. Check the church calendar for description of upcoming services and any schedule changes or cancellations.
Our building at 35 Church Street is an accessible facility. In an effort to be accessible to all, worship services are also streamed live on Zoom. Links to the service are distributed in advance via email. To receive the link, send a request to email@example.com. (Learn more about multi-platform worship and our COVID-19 response.)
Our services last about one hour and fifteen minutes and dress is informal. Our minister, Rev. Sophia, regularly leads worship, however several times through the church year, members of the congregation will lead special services. We also proudly host guest preachers from the surrounding area. Parishioner-led services are held during the summer months while our minister takes time to rest and restore. You will find these services to be informal, yet deeply moving and creative.
You can expect to sing, light candles, be led in prayer, meditation and ritual, hear selected readings, reflections and a sermon in our services, although some of this varies throughout the year. We always light our chalice, which is the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist faith.
Your children are welcome and wanted in our sanctuary. We offer a place for them to sit up at the front, on our blue carpet, or you may sit elsewhere. They may choose to stay with you during service, or participate in our religious education programming downstairs. All children and youth participate in worship for the first 10-15 minutes and are then guided downstairs to their classrooms, after our Time for All Ages. Our vibrant children’s Religious Education program offers age-appropriate activities and explorations of faith.
These candlelit contemplative services offer quiet music, readings, and time for shared silence in our beautiful sanctuary. Candles can be lit throughout the service, and we ask that you please enter and leave in silence.
We gather monthly on Tuesday evenings at 7pm and services run around 30 minutes. Attendants are welcome to begin arriving at 6:45pm to enjoy the silence of the sanctuary, as well as linger afterwards as needed.
You may join us from home on Zoom – the link is sent out to friends and members the day of the service. If you are not on our mailing list and would like the link, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.