Chalice maker, 92, lights General Assembly chalice

Mordecai Roth, chalice sculptor, lights the GA chalice (©Nancy Pierce)

Mordecai Roth, who made the chalice the UUA has used for General Assemblies since 2005, lights the chalice at Friday’s plenary. (©Nancy Pierce)

Mordecai Roth lit the chalice at the beginning of Friday morning’s plenary session. It was a chalice he made—but not the only one he’s made.

Roth, 92, a retired dentist and a member of the UU Church of Surprise, Arizona, has made 132 chalices, most in use by UU congregations. His chalices range from 9 to 23 inches in height and feature two interlocking hoops above the chalice bowl.

The first one he made was used at General Assembly 2005 in Fort Worth. Roth made the chalice for his own church as well and now one of the pleasures of his life is going to church and beholding it each Sunday.

“I like to sit on the front row and just look at it. When I look at the details, the spaces between the elements, I think of various family members. The chalice just keeps giving back to me every Sunday.” He added, “It’s been a real labor of love to make these.”

He said the design for the interlocking rings just kind of evolved. “Once I got started the process just took on a life of its own.” He uses the “lost wax” process, where wax in a mold is replaced by hot metal. “It’s not all that different a process from making a dental crown,” he noted.

Roth’s minister is the Rev. Dr. Walt Wieder, chair of the General Assembly Planning Committee.

Mordecai Roth, chalice creator from UU World on Vimeo.

Mordecai Roth created the chalice used in General Assembly plenary sessions.

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