Order of Worship

Order of Worship for a typical service


Gathering ourselves...


This is instrumental music which sets the tone for the service. It serves as a time of transition for congregants from their daily life to the sanctuary space. The Prelude often offers a preview of the theme of the service.

Welcome and Announcements

A friendly welcome by the Minister or a lay person to all who are present.


The first choral piece of the service, it serves as part of the transition from daily life into the Service.

Chalice Lighting

This is a shared ritual among Unitarian Universalist Congregations. The flame stands for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the freedom of each person to search for what is true and right in life.

Call to Worship

A solemn time so that we may center ourselves, it “sets the tone” for worship.


...into beloved community...

For all ages

A story for when the religious education classes are in the sanctuary, relating to the lesson the children will discuss that day.


The collection plate is passed and the offering is gratefully received for the life, work and ministry of our self-sustaining church.

...to honor our roots and imagine the possibilities...


Most services will include two readings to support the message of the day, an Ancient Reading and a Modern Reading.


This is the centerpiece of the Service. Although we no longer limit ourselves to one source or scripture, we have kept with the tradition of expressing our deepest hopes, longings, struggles, and visions for a world healed through the “Word” of the Sermon.


The second, choral piece of the service.

...and to rededicate our lives

Joys and Sorrows

When we share joys, sorrows and concerns from our daily lives in a space of mutual respect.

Spoken and Silent Meditation and Prayer

A prayer by the Minister followed by a moment of silence for reflection.

Congregational Response

Ending the worship service, the Benediction is usually given from the rear of the church. We often stand and hold hands connecting us together.


A musical piece which aids in the transition out of worship and back into daily life.

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824