Holidays and Traditions
First Parish in Concord follows a traditional church year beginning in September and ending in June. We have church 52 Sundays a year, but summer services tend to be more informal. Our church year opens the Sunday after Labor Day with our ingathering service. Everyone is welcomed back from his or her summer and we officially begin the year. September also usually sees us acknowledging the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Around the first of November we do our annual All Souls service in which we remember those in the congregation who have died. December finds us in the season of Advent leading up to Christmas Eve services. We also acknowledge Hanukah and Winter Solstice in December. After the New Year, we acknowledge Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes Chinese New Year or Valentines Day. Holy Week each spring includes services for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and Memorial Day round out the year. Because we value the wisdom from other world religions, it is not unusual to have a service lift up the message of any holiday or festival for which a portion of the congregation has an appreciation. That said, most Sundays the message is decidedly Unitarian Universalist. We rely on our own religious tradition and the words and deeds of our own ancestor for inspiration. It is important for us to live our Unitarian Universalist values in the world.