once. The most sacred and solemn function of the church is the Mass. This is
the commemoration, continuation, and consummation of the Sacrifice of
the Cross. The two principal parts of the Mass are the Liturgy of the Word
and the Eucharistic Liturgy.
Roman Catholic charity and welfare work is conducted by many
different organizations, religious, and otherwise. Several religious orders of
men and women devote full time to the relief of the poor. Education has
been a primary concern of American Roman Catholics and there are well
over 8 thousand Roman Catholic elementary parochial and private schools in
this country in addition to 241 Roman Catholic colleges and universities.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCHES.American Unitarian-
ism developed from New England Congregationalism although Unitarian
thought reaches back into the early Christian centuries. The first organized
American church to turn to Unitarianism, however, was not a Congrega-
tional church but the Episcopal Kings Chapel in Boston in 1785. Five
American Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and
John Quincy Adams, were Unitarians.
Unitarians have no creed. The constitution of the general conference
(Unitarian Universalist) states these churches accept the religion of Jesus,
holding in accordance with His teaching that practical religion is summed up
in the love of God and love of man. Universalists which consolidated with
Unitarian churches in May 1961, have their roots in both pre-Christian and
contemporary world faiths, yet remain within the Christian frame of
Unitarian Universalist worship services are usually simple and readings
are not taken exclusively from the Bible. Each congregation may develop its
own worship services to meet its own needs. Some congregations do have a
liturgical service and Christian hymns are utilized.
Each local congregation is autonomous and enjoys full self-
determination. These congregations are members of a continental organiza-
tion, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and elect its officers and
trustees. They also express their views through their delegates votes at the
denominations General Assembly. One of this Churchs most notable
achievements is its publishing house, Beacon Press, which circulates over
1 million books throughout the world each year. Church headquarters are
located in Boston, Massachusetts.
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST.Seeking to establish communities in
which they might worship as they wished, many 17th-century Englishmen
came to America and established Congregational churches. The United
Church of Christ was formed through a merger of the Congregational
church, the Christian church, the Evangelical Synod, and the Reformed
church. This union was completed in July 1961.
Conferences of local churches elect delegates to the biennial General
Synod, which carries on the work of the church and provides for its financial
support. Full-time officers of the church include a president, secretary,
director of finance, and a treasurer who are elected by the synod.
Since the churches generally accept the priesthood of all believers, the full
involvement of the people is required for congregational worship. There is