Our Zia and Chalice
icon of a flaming chalice

Our congregation lights a flaming chalice in gatherings and worship to create a reverent space for reflection, prayer, meditation, and singing. The flaming chalice is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition and we feature it prominently within the church and on our published materials.

Austrian artist Hans Deutsch joined the chalice and flame as a Unitarian symbol in 1941.  Deutsch created the symbol to make it easy for WWII underground organizations to recognize that members of the Unitarian Service Committee (USC) were friends and allies. The story of Hans Deutsch reminds us that, in the beginning, the symbol of a flaming chalice stood for a life of service. When Deutsch designed the flaming chalice, he had never seen a Unitarian or Universalist church or heard a sermon. What he had seen was the USC’s faith in action—people who were willing to risk all for others in a time of urgent need.

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 much more.