A flame within a chalice (a cup with a stem and foot), represents the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and is a symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith.
“At the opening of Unitarian Universalist worship services, many congregations light a flame inside a chalice. This flaming chalice has become a well-known symbol of our denomination. It unites our members in worship and symbolizes the spirit of our work.” —Dan Hotchkiss
The lighting of the chalice is usually accompanied by a brief reading; please visit our Words for Worship sample chalice lighting words.
Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, first brought together the chalice and the flame as a Unitarian symbol during his work with the Unitarian Service Committee during World War II. To Deutsch, the image had connotations of sacrifice and love. Unitarian Universalists today have many different interpretations of the image. To learn more about the history of our Unitarian Universalist symbol, please read the pamphlet, “The Flaming Chalice.”
Our current official UUA logo was designed to offer a visual representation of a modern and dynamic faith. Unitarian Universalist congregations are free to use the UUA’s logo in their congregational work, but they are not required to do so. Because of this, you may see many different styles of flaming chalices and other images used by Unitarian Universalist congregations.