Talking Circle leader sheet

Talking Circle ritual outline

Developed by Sharon Hwang Colligan, with thanks to comrades in SF-UUYAN and PCD-UUYAN, 1997-2000.

Hymnal numbers are references to the UU hymnal Singing the Living Tradition, Beacon Press, 1993.

Chalice Lighting: #429 – Come into this place of peace…

Opening Song: #389 – Gathered here in the mystery of the hour…

Welcome Speech:

to [our Unitarian Universalist Young Adult worship circle.]

Our theme tonight is …………………. .
We use a Talking Circle format:
The person holding the [pine cone] speaks,
and passes it to the next, or back to the center, when they’re done.
We speak from our hearts,
and respect what is spoken.

We start with a check-in, which is:
Your name, and
something [meaningful that’s happened this week].

Pass pine cone to the left (clockwise.) Leader goes first, or sometimes the person to the leader’s left.

Talking Circle– the topic leader speaks first, invokes the theme, places pine cone back in center. Circle then moves where it will.

Get Ready to Close:

  • Time check: Let people know “There are fifteen minutes till we end the circle.”
  • Final squeaks: Close to the end, “Anything anyone needs to say before we close?”
  • Check-out: “Your name again. Bless the circle.” (Check-out pine cone moves to the right.)


  • Song: #413 – Go Now in Peace…
  • Stand up, hold hands.
  • Closing Blessing:
    Thank you for being here.
    Respect what was spoken here– keep confidentiality. (or: keep the circle.)
    Go in peace.
  • Blow out candle. (All together.)

of upcoming social events, business meetings, etc. may be made after circle. (Avoid using check-in or check-out for announcements.)