High Holiday Rituals
We gather to celebrate each of the eight holidays, or Sabbats, on the Wheel of the Year, which mark the seasons of the Sun — the Solstices, Equinoxes, and points in between in European traditions. All rituals are family-friendly unless otherwise specified.
Earth Centered Spirituality Services
Our Earth-centered Spirituality Group meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 11:30 a.m. in the Chapel, 10:30 am starting in September. Our time together provides an opportunity to focus on the Sixth Source of Unitarian Universalism: “Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.” Please visit our calendar page to confirm the time and date of future gatherings.
Full Moon Labyrinth Walks & Divination Practice
Once a month we gather to enjoy the beauty and peace of the Labyrinth by the light of the full moon. During the warmer months in clear weather, we walk the outdoor Labyrinth at the UUCF. During the cooler months and in wet weather, we walk an indoor canvas labyrinth in the Chapel. A Labyrinth Walk is not a ritual with a set start and ending time. It is an open space where you can come walk the Labyrinth in your own time. During the latter part of of outdoor Labyrinth walks, hand drumming is welcome.
Divination practice is welcome – please feel free to bring your preferred divinatory tool (runes, tarot, ogham, etc) to practice/trade readings. Or, just stop by for a reading!
Saturday, August 4th, 7:45 pm: Lammas Ritual
Join Frederick CUUPS for an open, family-friendly Lammas Ritual! Lammas or Lughnassadh is the time of year when plants first start to drop their fruits or seeds. The bounty and fullness of Summer are in full swing, and we begin to harvest what we have sown. Around the world, cultures are celebrating the abundance around us. This family-friendly ritual is open to everyone and will be led by Kim. The First Harvest gives us the first of the bountiful times. It shows us the greens of the land, the wonder of nature, and the delightful tastes of the season. And we are grateful that the land is to plentiful. To this end, we will invite a vegetation spirit, a land spirit, into our midst, and thank it with offerings and a party, to show it a good time. We will be building an effigy (a symbolic representation) of the Spirit of Vegetation (Plants, Flora, that which we Harvest). To do this, we will need to bring in things from nature to create this effigy. The form will be started from sticks, but it is up to us to create our effigy and make it real. We ask that you bring in pieces from your own garden or outdoor space, such as leaves, vines, special sticks, etc. to add to the form to make up our effigy. Additionally, we are looking for people to help with drumming, chanting and speaking roles in the ritual. If you would like to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook event here.
Friday, August 10th, 6 pm: Dark Moon Drum Circle
Shake off the summer heat, connect with the rhythm and learn some
new grooves. The Dark Moon Drum Circle will begin with a brief workshop to help people get comfortable playing together. A drum circle is a celebration of life, community, and music-making in the moment. Please bring hand drums, shakers and other hand percussion. A few small hand drums will be available if you do not have your own. Facebook event here.
Sunday, August 26th, 8 pm: Full Moon Labyrinth Walk
Saturday, August 31st, 7:45 pm: Hela Blót (Heathen Ceremony)
Elk Ridge Kindred is a small, local group who practice the Norse traditions of Heathenry. On August 31st, they will be hosting a blót (pronounced blōt), which is a traditional way of toasting and honoring Deity and our ancestors. For this event we will honor the Goddess of the underworld and caretaker of the ancestors, Hela. While open to the public, space is limited so we are asking that people make reservations by emailing us at ElkRidgeKindred(at)gmail(dot)com if you wish to attend. Ritual will be held at the UUCF and begins promptly at 7:45pm. Facebook event here.
Saturday, September 15th, 10 am – 6 pm: Frederick Pagan Pride Day (Frederick CUUPS’ Mabon offering) Frederick CUUPS has the great honor of hosting and managing the region’s annual Pagan Pride Gathering. This will be our fourth year! Last year, slightly over 500 people attended. The festival is a ton of fun – it’s a full day of workshops, rituals, vendors, music and merriment. But, like all really wonderful events, it takes a village to run it smoothly. We are looking for volunteers to help with this year’s event. There are two windows of time in which we volunteer: there’s a setup the evening before (Friday, September 14th) to put up the pavilions, mark out vendor spaces, place tables, etc. The day of Frederick Pagan Pride Day (Saturday, September 15th), we have shifts starting at 8 am and ending at 8 pm. We will need the most help from 8 to 10 am (loading vendors in and getting set up) and 6 to 8 pm (loading vendors out and breaking down all the festival infrastructure). During the day, we have shifts at the Welcome Booth, General Site (roaming security), Parking Guides and Event Field (helping with workshops, rituals, etc). Shifts vary in time from half an hour to up to two hours depending on the role being filled. If you would like to volunteer, please email email@example.com.
Monday, September 24th, 7 pm: Full Moon Labyrinth Walk
Wednesday, October 24th, 6:30 pm: Full Moon Labyrinth Walk
Saturday, November 10th, 7:45 pm: Samhain Ritual
Join Frederick CUUPS for an open Samhain Ritual! Samhain falls at the time of year the light noticeably fades. Pagans reflect on and review the past year and welcome the Celtic New Year. In this season, Pagans also honor death as a part of the sacred circle of life and remember those who have died. We will share a Samhain celebration (led by Irene). Parents, please remember that grief is a part of Samhain – this ritual is recommended for ages 12 and up. Please consider whether your child will be comfortable exploring the emotions of loss and grief.
Please feel free to bring an item or items for the Ancestral/Remembrance Altar. This year, we will have spaces for Ancestors, Beloved Friends, Ancestors of the Order (ascended masters, trailblazing witches – the Mighty Dead of Witchcraft), and Animal Companions. Traditional dress for Samhain is harvest colors or dark colors (mourning dress). Snack/dessert potluck to follow the ritual, please clearly LABEL any offerings with the ingredients included. Facebook event here.
Sunday, November 11th, 10:30 am: Earth Centered Spirituality Service
This month’s Earth Service will be led by Irene and Tamara. Facebook event here.
Seidr is a Norse-inspired divinatory practice wherein participants can ask questions of our ancestors, our gods and goddesses, and other beings. Participants take a guided journey to the entrance to Hel (the realm of the dead), then one person (the Seidr Kona or Madr) crosses into Hel to relay answers. The Mid-Atlantic Spae Team are the special guests of Frederick CUUPS and will be offering this ritual to the community. Facebook event here.
Saturday, December 22nd, 7:45 pm: Yule Ritual
Join Frederick CUUPS for an open, family-friendly Yule Ritual! Yule, the Winter Solstice, falls on the shortest day and longest night of the year. Pagans welcome the rebirth of the Sun with feasting, dancing, music and festivities. Decorations include wreaths, boughs of holly, mistletoe, evergreens, and lots of lights. We will share a Yule celebration. Snack/dessert potluck to follow, please clearly LABEL any offerings with the ingredients included. Facebook event here.
Tuesday, January 1st, 2019, 7 – 9 pm: New Year’s Day Purification Ritual
Enter 2019 from a centered place of peace. Release the energies of the last year, and set a harmonious tone for the year to come. Sacred Space will be held from 7 to 9 pm in the Sanctuary of the UUCF.
Attendees are invited to move through the Elements, releasing the shadows of 2018 as they go. Elemental Guides will be available at each Quarter to offer a way to move into the energy of a new year. End your Purification journey with a walk to the center of the Labyrinth to receive any messages for the new year.
This ritual is an opportunity to move through Sacred Space. As such, there is no set start and finish time–it does not have a formal ritual structure. Your journey will be self-guided. We will hold the space open from 7 to 9 pm, and you should expect to spend somewhere between a half hour to an hour on your journey.
Please remember that this is a very popular ritual. There is a single path to follow, so at ‘peak’ times (generally around 8 pm), there can be a line. Please plan to arrive early or after the ‘peak’ and please be patient with the process of the people around you.
All are welcome to attend. Facebook event here.
There are no Labyrinth Walks in November and December due to calendar conflicts
Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Join Frederick CUUPS for a Masquerade Ball as we dance into the night with the Winter Court of Faerie, rulers of the dark season! Please come in a wintry costume as we revel and celebrate the darkest time of the year with the Good Folk of the Winter Court. Details here.