“Every person’s life is nourished in the love and support we receive in community. The embrace of family love forms our dreams and hopes. The UU Ceremony of Dedication celebrates with gratitude the wonder of each child, claiming each life as sacred a giving thanks in response to the gift of the divine mystery, which dwells within us all and within the community of life.”
Re. Helen Zidowecki, UUSGMN
Unitarian Universalists believe that every child brings new life and new hope into the world. The ceremony of child dedication is a special time set aside to bless this child and celebrate the blessing that the gift of life brings to all of us. We come together out of reverence for that mystery of life that we have seen in the miracle of reproduction and birth. Unlike traditional baptism, the ceremony does not make the life of the child sacred; we believe that life is inherently sacred.
There is no standard UU ceremony for child dedications, although there are common themes. Here at First Parish, a simple ceremony is incorporated into our regular Sunday service. The child is presented to the congregation and the congregation welcomes the child. In the dedication we:
• Welcome the child into the world and into our religious community by formally giving them their name,
• Dedicate children to the highest traditions of life,
• As a congregation promise to support the family of the child as the child grows up, and
• Rededicate ourselves to creating a more sane and just world in which all children may thrive.
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and his disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me, do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Gospel of Mark, chapter 10, verses 13-16