Our Symbol: The Flaming Chalice
A flame within a chalice (a cup with a stem and foot) is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Many of our congregations kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worships and feature the chalice symbol prominently.
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 is a symbol of hope, the sacred, the quest for truth, the warmth of community, the light of reason, and more.
Our member, Michael G., created the logo for FUUFHC in 2014 as a way to reflect our mission statement, “Nuturing Spiritual Journeys, Expanding Social Justice.”
Michael says, “To convey Nurturing, I chose to use hands to represent the chalice. Their image also emphasizes Community, Humanity, and Balance. The hands enter the circle to cradle the flame. The flame, embodying Justice, Enlightenment, and Spirit, emanates from the center of the image. Expanding outward and up, it breaks through the boundary of the enclosing circle and into the larger world. The circle contains the flame & chalice, providing structure and contrast. It evokes cycles and groupings: The Circle of Life; a circle of friends; a space we enter, mentally or physically, when we are in community. In the image, it can also be seen as the darkness or void that the light separates. But not empty blackness – the world is not that dark. The rainbow colors represent Welcoming, Diversity, and Vibrance. They create a cycle within the image, starting at the center of the flame with yellow, then expanding to orange, red, and purple. They continue outward to blue, which circles around to the green chalice that supports and embraces the flame. The image combines smooth, soft curves and sharp points. Round is a comforting, nurturing shape, while sharpness can be challenging. This again reflects our mission to be both nurturing to our community’s spiritual journeys but to also challenge and pierce the status quo of injustice. The logo is bold, vibrant, expansive, and meaningful – without hitting you over the head too much. I hope it well represents our community.”
We light a flaming chalice in worship to create a reverent space for reflection, prayer, meditation, and singing.