UU Principles & Sources for Children

Kids learn the seven Unitarian Universalist principles and purposes, our agreement for how we will treat one another in community, by describing them as a “rainbow” of values. The first letter of each principle stands for the first letter of the corresponding color of the seven colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

  • Respect the importance and value of each person
  • Offer fair and kind treatment to everyone
  • Yes to spiritual growth and learning together
  • Grow by exploring ideas and finding your own truth
  • Believe in your ideals and voice your vote
  • Insist on justice, freedom, and peace for all
  • Value our responsibility in the web of life

Unitarian Universalists find inspiration from six sources. The stories and lessons we offer in religious education are drawn from these foundations of our faith:

  • the sense of wonder we all share.
  • women and men long ago and today — people whose lives remind us to be kind and fair.
  • the ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world’s religious.
  • Christian and Jewish teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves.
  • the use of reason and the discoveries of science the harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life.

Story of the Flaming Chalice

The flaming chalice is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. The flame is a symbol of truth, helpfulness, and sacrifice; the chalice symbolizes being in community. The two circles represent Unitarianism and Universalism, and our world. The flaming chalice has been a symbol of liberal religion since the 15th century, dating to John Hüs of Transylvania, a Catholic priest who was burned at the stake as a heretic for making religion more accessible to lay people. It also reminds us of the Christian heritage of our tradition.

The flaming chalice was first adopted as a UU symbol by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) in 1941. During World War II, the UUSC worked to help people flee from Nazi persecution and provide food, shelter, and medicine to refugees. Hans Deutsch, whom the UUSC helped escape from imprisonment and flee to the United States, designed this symbol in appreciation for the humanitarian work of the UUSC.

Chalice Lighting Words

For younger children

We are Unitarian Universalists.
(Make U’s by cupping each hand)
We are the church of the open mind,
(Touch your hands to your head)
The loving heart,
(Put your hands over your heart)
And the helping hands.
(Put your hands in front of you palms up)
Together we care for our earth
(Make a circle with your arms over your head)
And work for friendship and peace in our world
(Hold hands with your neighbors)
∼ Gaia Brown

For older children

We light this chalice for the light of truth.
We light this chalice for the warmth of love.
We light this chalice for the energy of action.
∼ Mary Anne Moore

Prayers and Meditations for Children

Prayers are thoughts or words that connect us with a higher power, which has different names for different people. People pray to give thanks, to say sorry, to ask for help, or to express awe or wonder. Meditation – thinking quietly and deeply about something, or nothing – is used to quiet the mind. Here are some words to try when praying or meditating with your family:

There is love
Holding me.
There is love
Holding you.
There is love
Holding all.
I rest
In this love.
∼ Rebecca Parker, Unitarian Universalist

May all beings in the world be happy.
May all the beings in the world be at peace.
May all beings in the world be free from suffering.
May all the beings in the world be well.
∼ Buddhist Loving Kindness Meditation

Dear God,
May I be kind,
Strong and brave,
Joyful, useful, loving,
Honest and healthy.
∼ Meg Barnhouse, Unitarian Universalist

Oh, the earth is good to me.
And so I thank the earth.
For giving me the things I need.
The birds and the bees and the apple trees.
Oh, the earth is good to me.
∼ Traditional

Religious Education Library

We have lots of great books and videos for all ages that share what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, live our principles, and find inspiration in our sources. Books are available for loan to parents, too.

Click here for a list of Religious Education resources to borrow.