A flame within a chalice (a cup with a stem and foot) is a primary symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith. We at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst (UUSA), like many UU congregations, light a chalice to honor our heritage and signify that we are gathering in space made holy by our collective presence.

Hans Deutsch, an Austrian artist, used the flaming chalice image in World War II to let refugees know the Unitarian Service Committee truck he drove was safe to approach. Deutsch chose the flaming chalice as an image of sacrifice and love. Unitarian Universalists today variously interpret the flaming chalice as the light of reason, the warmth of community, and the flame of hope.

Our own chalice was a gift from member Betsey Johnson, honoring the memory of her husband, Chad Johnson.