What is Water Communion?

A Brief History:

Unitarian Universalist communities have been celebrating water communion since the early 1980’s when the service was first designed by Carol McDade and Lucile Shuck Longview. It began as a service to empower women and celebrate connectedness. “The water symbolized the birth waters, the cycles of moon, tides and women, the solidarity with women globally, as women the world over traditionally draw and carry water.” (Ellen Blanchard)

Thirty years after its creation, this ritual speaks to a deepening awareness of our solidarity with our human family globally who lack the most basic and precious resources. It also speaks eloquently of our interdependence with all life and with each other. Water carries memories—of special trips, of former homes, or of simple, day to day places that have become holy to us. As we bring the sacred together in this ceremony of connectedness, we symbolize the ways we each contribute to, and receive from, this holy community.

And, as we gather today to mark the beginning of our congregational year, this ceremony is one way we welcome everyone back from a summer in which the congregation’s life slows down, worship is less formal, and some travel or spend time away. Today we invite everyone to participate in this ritual of connection by bringing a sample of water that has meaning to you. There will also be water available for anyone who would like to participate without bringing your own water.