Tag: shrine

Pagan Group October News

by Mary Bennett

Samhain (saw-wen) is a version of “summer’s end” and we’re experiencing that now. In pagan traditions, this is seen as the “new year”. It’s a time to remember our “beloved dead” and at UCV a much-loved worship service is Encountering Our Ancestors, this year on October 31st. Once again we’ll be creating an ancestors’ shrine and a “day of the dead” altar.

We will host an open ritual for the Winter Solstice on Tuesday, December 21. All welcome – Unitarians, pagans, families, and friends.

The UCV pagan group is approximately 40 people in total. We connect with each other through an email list by sharing information and invitations.  We encourage everyone to take initiative by sharing their knowledge and energy. We meet approximately every six weeks to celebrate the eight “sabbats” (solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter days).

We have now started two small groups so that people can get to know each other better. Each group creates their own plan as to when and where they meet and how and where they gather. If there’s interest, we will start a third group. If interested, fill out this form and comment on what you’d like. Open of course to those who are just curious about pagan traditions.


These small groups

  • meet approximately monthly
  • share leadership and responsibilities for the group
  • once a year do a service project for the wider community
  • determine their own topics and schedule for meetings
  • once formed with 6-13 members will usually remain a closed group for a year

If you want to plan a solitary or small group celebration for Samhain, you’ll find lots of suggestions online for decorating your home, planning activities and readings.

Samhain – Hallowe’en

This is the new year for pagans and when the veil is thinnest between the living and the dead.

UCV honours this time with a special worship service, Encountering Our Ancestors, and creating an Ancestors Shrine. 

If you want to know the exact day and time of solstices, equinoxes and moon phases, we recommend this website: timeanddate.com


Annual Ancestor Shrine–Come and visit

Origins of Our Tradition

Mary, Catherine, Nancy, Terence, Morgan and Jen first created an Ancestor Shrine with the children’s program back in the fall of 2013. Transforming the meditation room into a place of remembrance at the end of October has become a firm tradition since then. It is something our children remember and connect with over the years.

Please come explore the Ancestor Shrine after Sunday service on October 27th.

You may bring a photo or remembrance to leave on the altar if you wish (to be returned the following Sunday), and there will be paper and twine with which to write your own remembrances and hang from the willow branches.

May we remember where we come from, and how the tree of life shows us that truly all that exists on Earth is related. Further back we find that we have evolved from the dust of exploded stars–what great mystery!