Invitation to Fire Communion Sharing

Hello, UCV friends,

Patrick Dubois and I, Mary Bennett,  are again leading the Fire Communion worship service on the last Sunday in December (the 27th). Wendy Bryan will once again be “Mistress of the Cauldron”, ready to toss on a sprig of rosemary to mark your contributions.

We will miss seeing you line up in the aisles with your sprig of rosemary to toss on the burning cauldron but have dreamed up a few ways you can participate. It is a communion after all, even though we won’t be physically in the same place!

  • Leavings and Longings: Send me about 3 sentences explaining a “leaving” (loss, change, moving on) over the past year or a “longing” for the coming year. These will be read aloud during the service.

  • The context can be seen in the order of service below. Your submissions might be related to Covid, or not. Just email them to me, and I’ll be grouping them and possibly editing a bit for brevity. Please make clear to me whether I should use your name and if so, whether your first name, your full name or your family name (eg “the Bennetts”).

  • Create a cauldron of your own to use during the service on Sunday December 27 at home. You could burn symbolic sprigs or something written on a (small) piece of paper. Your cauldron could be a pillar candle immersed in a large bowl of water. If you use sprigs, it’s good to dry them for a week or so first.

  • For safety have a fire extinguisher, blanket and/or large jug of water nearby, especially if you’re with kids. Besides the obvious, it’s a good demo for how to safely enjoy the pleasures of candles with minimal risk.

  • Our communion, our togetherness, is important. We want to feel that we are all together once more mourning the past and looking forward to the future, however you set up your own environment to experience that. Whether or not you decide to light something afire to symbolize what you are leaving behind or perhaps light a fresh candle for what you are longing for, you could take this time to share your “leavings” and then “longings”. If you are watching the service alone, you might want to initiate a new journal to record your responses. If you want to really go big, the “recipe” for our flaming cauldron can be found here  It looks exciting but is actually very safe. (I had so many inquiries in the past, I made a blog post.) Flash paper, again, is exciting and actually safe.

All are welcome to participate. All ages and stages. I’d love to hear from kids or family groups.

You’re free to forward this invitation to anyone in our congregation.


Mary, Patrick and Wendy

(excerpt from Order of Service)

Lighting the Cauldron of Transformation


A Litany of Leavings

We will share messages from our congregation about losses and endings over the past year as we add sprigs of rosemary to the cauldron to transform our losses.

We’ll have a period of music: At home, you may share aloud or write about your own losses and leavings from 2020

A Litany of Longings

We will then share messages of what you are longing for. The past year has required many of us to leave “normal” life behind. We will share some of our congregational members’ longings and then light candles as the cauldron consumes the leavings.

During the period of music, you are invited to share what you are most longing for in the coming year.



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