Jamestown, N.Y. – The Flower Communion, also called the Flower Ceremony or Flower Festival, is an annual ritual in many Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community.
Sunday, June 18, congregant Anne Kenefic will lead the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) in a Flower Communion service at 10:30 a.m..
One hundred years ago, on June 4, 1923, the Flower Communion was initiated in Prague by Norbert Čapek, the founder of the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. He saw the need to unite the diverse congregants of his church, from varying Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds, without alienating those who had left these traditions. For this reason he honored the universal beauty of nature by having a communion of flowers instead of the Eucharist.
The ritual was brought to the United States in 1940 by the Rev. Maja Čapek, Norbert’s wife, and was widely adopted by American Unitarian churches and their successor Unitarian Universalist congregations.
In this ceremony, everyone in the congregation brings a flower. Each person places a flower on the altar or in a shared vase. The congregation and minister or leader bless the flowers, and they are redistributed. Each person takes home a different flower from the one they brought.
Celebrating the Flower Ceremony is an opportunity for UU congregations to express their commitment to the sixth of seven principles they affirm and promote: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
Kenefic was a Sister of Social Service for more than a decade. A graduate of California State University, Hayward, with a BA in Political Science, Religious Studies and Women’s Studies, she received her Doctor of the Law from the University of West Los Angeles. She practiced various types of law in California and taught various subjects at the Paralegal Studies Program at California State University, San Bernardino.
After moving to Jamestown in 2008, Kenefic worked as a paralegal for the law offices of Arthur N. Bailey & Associates, Legal Aid of Chautauqua County, and Fessenden, Laumer & DeAngelo, PLLC. She has been a UUCJ member since 2008 and was a board member for three years.
Pianist is Julie Anderson. A social time follows the service.
Participation can be in person at 1255 Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown or online. To join virtually, use the link at UUJamestown.org/calendar.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to support and celebrate each other, encourage spiritual and individual growth, and serve the wider community.