Global chalice lightings

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) is now defunct, another victim of COVID. According to Inga Brandes, ICUU President in 2021, “With the Covid Pandemic, the climate Emergency, and underlying funding issues, ICUU is facing major problems of sustainability and impact.” And so we now have the International U/U Collaboration.

This is sad, but not entirely surprising. As I understand it, ICUU funding has been precarious for some time. All best wishes to the new group.

However, in the transition, the old ICUU website disappeared, along with some 212 “global chalice lightings.” The global chalice lightings were words for lighting the chalice, submitted by Unitarian / Universalist communities from around the world, and often translated into multiple languages. These were a tremendously useful resource. Not only did they give insight into the internal diversity of global Unitarian and Universalist communities, not only were many of them useful in worship services, but they also were one of the only linguistically diverse Unitarian Universalist resources we had.

Yes, we have UU hymns and readings in Spanish. But here in the United States, there are Unitarian Universalists who are fluent in many other languages, and/or whose first language is other than English. For example, in my past two UU congregations, I shared global chalice lightings in Portuguese, French, and German with native speakers of those languages. I’ve known one or two African American Unitarian Universalists who felt some connection to global chalice lightings from Nigeria, and the occasional Filipino American Unitarian Universalist pleased to see global chalice lightings from the Philippines.

I hope someone has saved all those global chalice lightings, and makes them available again. The new website of the International U/U Collaboration has less than a dozen of them. I can’t find them on the UUA website. I did manage to get all the global chalice lightings from 2003 through 2014 from the Wayback Machine. But after 2014, it’s much more difficult to pull the global chalice lightings from the Wayback Machine.

The ICUU global chalice lightings are undoubtedly covered under international copyright. So I’m not going to post any of them here on my website (though I’m willing to share them with individuals if you email me directly). And if you happen to have a collection of ICUU global chalice lightings from 2015 on, and you’re willing to share, please leave a note in the comments below!

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