Our Symbol: A Flaming Chalice

UUSSD_Our_Symbol_A_Flaming_Chalice_01A flame within a chalice — a cup with a stem and foot — is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. We light our flaming chalice at the beginning of Sunday services and other group gatherings.

Flaming chalice designs have changed many times over the past 65 years. Modern chalice designs often incorporate two overlapping circles, as ours does, which, for many people, represent our Unitarian and Universalist heritages.

Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love.

To Unitarian Universalists today the flaming chalice may symbolize hope, the sacred, the search for truth, the warmth of community, the light of reason, and the spirit of our work. More information about the history of the Flaming Chalice may be found on the Unitarian Universalist Association website.