Holidays and Traditions
We recognize and celebrate holidays from many faith traditions. Here are our regular annual worship traditions.
Water Communion Sunday
We gather the first Sunday after Labor Day and celebrate the water that nourishes our bodies and spirits. Bring a small amount of water from a place that has meaning for you – perhaps a favorite watering hole or your kitchen sink. Each person will have the opportunity to pour their water into a shared vase and share the origin of their water. In recent years we’ve added the challenge of sharing in just 7 words or less!
The Flower Ceremony, sometimes referred to as Flower Communion or Flower Festival, is an annual ritual that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community.
In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower. Each person places a flower in a shared vase. The congregation and minister bless the flowers, and they’re redistributed. Each person brings home a different flower than the one they brought.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at Sage Chapel
Please join the greater-Ithaca community in these traditional candlelight services a Sage Chapel on the Cornell Campus. The services begin at 5:15 PM and 8:00 PM. The Chapel holds approximately 700 people but you may want to arrive early to enjoy the chimes concert and to assure yourself of a seat. Each year we have had wonderful music brought to us by our organist Stephanie Ortolano and our Christmas Eve Choir led by Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum. Over the years we have included various musical ensembles including vocalists and instrumentalists. We also like to include chimes concerts by Cornell Chimesmasters.
Coming of Age Ceremony
The Coming of Age ceremony is the culmination of a year of study and exploration for our 8th grade youth. Over the course of the year they explore life’s big questions about life, death, faith, and how to make meaning in the world. The service celebrates this rite of passage and features belief statements and reflections from the youth who have participated.
Our Bridging service occurs each spring, when 8th graders bridge to the High School youth group and the 12th graders reflect on their time as they bridge to the young adult group. This service traditionally takes place in Stewart Park and is followed by a potluck lunch.