While all different, altars share a common goal: To create a space that helps us stay connected to what is sacred and nourishing. So, what might your family Unitarian Universalist home altar look like?
Let’s find out! Follow these three steps (All items you can make or find)*:
Step 1: The Basics
A Chalice – this will be the centre of your altar and represents our UU faith. You can use a wax or an LED candle.
Altar Table/Space – The altar table or sacred corner holds and helps us remember what is important, nourishing and sacred in our lives. It should be large enough for your chalice and have space for other items around it.
A bell, chime or sound-making instrument. Use the sound to signal “special time” and a movement from “normal time” into “sacred time.”
Step Two: Action Items!
Generosity“Bowl” – It does not need to be a bowl! Find or create a meaningful container to put offerings into each week. As a family, choose who the recipient of your offering will be – it could be a non-profit, a family/church member**, a neighbour, or someone else you think needs a little extra care. Over the week you can add things to the bowl – this could be money, a friendly letter, a quote you find inspiring, a picture you draw, etc. At the end of the week you can drop off or send the package to the person/organization.
Joys and Concerns Bowl – Find a bowl or glass (that can hold water) and some pebbles or small rocks. Each day or week each person can add one pebble and share one thing that brought them joy or they are grateful for
and a second pebble sharing one thing or someone they are worried about.
Step Three: You
Family Photos, Drawings, and/or Symbols – As UUs, we celebrate the amazing uniqueness and diversity present in families, extended families, and the beloved family members we call pets. You can add photos, draw, or you can find some object that symbolizes what is unique about you/your family. You also add something to represent people who are important to you and are far away. The goal is to place a picture, drawing or object on the altar that captures something that is unique about each person or captures each person’s unique love/passion.
With all these extra photos, drawings and symbols added, your Chalice Home may stop looking so artfully arranged, and begin to reflect the jumbled mix of family presence. That’s great! Celebrate the imperfection. Remember, it is your Chalice Home and will look as unique as your family is!
* Adapted from Soul Matters Sabbat Space.