31 August 2014, Helen Pettigrew & Fiona Tait and the Flower Communion

Fiona Tait and Helen Pettigrew put together a service inspired by the Unitarian Universalist Flower Communion service, originated by Dr Norbert Capek (Chah-Peck), founder of the modern Unitarian movement in Czechoslovakia. The basis of the ritual is that each member of the congregation brings with them to the service a single bloom. They are asked to come and place their own chosen flower in the vase on the altar, signifying by this act that it is of their own free will that they join them to the others. The vase filled with flowers then becomes a symbol of our united church fellowship. The significance of the flower communion is that as no two flowers are alike, so no two people are alike, yet each has a contribution to make. Together the different flowers will form a beautiful bouquet. This common bouquet that is created would not be the same without the unique addition of each individual flower, and thus it is with our church community. It would not be the same without each and every one of us. Thus this service is a statement of our community.
At the end of the service, the congregation were invited to return to the vase with the following words: “It is time now for us to share in the Flower Communion. I ask that as you each in turn approach the communion vase you do so quietly- reverently- with a sense of how important it is for each of us to address our world and one another with gentleness, justice and love. I ask that you select a flower- different from the one you brought- that particularly appeals to you. As you take your chosen flower- noting its particular shape and beauty- please remember to handle it carefully. It is a gift that someone has brought to you. It represents that person’s unique humanity, and therefore deserves your kindest touch.”
(Helen and Fiona would like to express their thanks to Rob Whiteman, of Edinburgh Unitarians, for his suggestion which led us to the information on the internet which formed the basis for our service.)

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