Next Opportunity: TBD
Unitarian Universalists believe that every child brings new hope into the world. At least once each year, we set aside a special time during the Sunday service for a Child Dedication ritual for our community to bless infants or young children new to the congregation.
How to Be Part of our Upcoming Child Dedication
If you have an infant or young child that you would like to have participate in this (or a future) Child Dedication, please email Rev. Carl () by Sunday, May 15, 2016 with the following details:
- Full name and the age of each child participating in the Child Dedication
- Names of Godparents/Guideparents (if any) who will be participating in the Child Dedication (and their relationship to you and/or the child — that is, why you chose them) — as well as whether you prefer the term "Godparents" or "Guideparents."
- Names of any relatives, who will be participating in the Child Dedication, and the relationship of each to the children being dedicated
- Names of any older siblings who have already been dedicated (if any) who will be participating in the Child Dedication: #Anything else along these lines that comes to mind, and/or any special requests.
- On the morning of the Child Dedication, can you meet in Rev. Carl's office no later than 15 minutes prior to the service to talk through everyone's part?
Sample Child Dedication
Will the the parents, relatives, and guideparents of the children participating in our Child Dedication please join me at the front of the sanctuary. Please join me in the following litany printed in your Order of Service:
- Minister: From the beginning of time, parents have presented their children publicly to the community for dedication and blessing. This blessing is a sacred rite of passage in which we celebrate the innocence, hope, and joy of new life.
- All: Every child is born with inherent worth and dignity, and deserves a meaningful life. Children need the support and commitment of us all.
- Minister: Each child is both an individual and a part of the interdependent web of all existence.
- Parents: Our children come from us, but they are not ours alone. They are also themselves, each an individual.
- All: We will support these children in becoming fully themselves. And we dedicate ourselves anew to building a world of peace, liberty, and justice in which all children will feel empowered to follow their conscience and to pursue a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
The great end in religious instruction is: Not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own;
Not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own;
Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent love of truth;
Not to form an outward regularity, but to touch inward springs;
Not to bind them by ineradicable prejudices to our particular sect or peculiar notions,
but to prepare them for impartial, conscientious judging of whatever subjects may be offered to their decision;
Not to burden the memory, but to quicken and strengthen the power of thought;
Not to impose religion upon them in the form of arbitrary rules, but to awaken the conscience, the moral discernment.
In a word, the great end is to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life."
Parent’s Statement of Commitment
As the parents, you have the most important role in passing on these values to your children. May your children, learn from your lips how important and rewarding it is to stand on the side of love and to speak out for justice. May they learn trust by trusting you. May they learn to marvel at the world as they witness you exploring the world in wonder and in awe. May they learn courage, wisdom, and love in your midst. May they also learn from you that even the mistakes that we inevitably make in life are but opportunity to learn and grow for the future.
Having heard this charge, do you affirm your commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood and pledge yourselves to nurture them not only to be a caring, generous,and passionate people, but also to be their own person with the freedom to make their own choices, including the choice of faith? (If so, please answer “We do.”)
Your special relationship of guideparent calls you to embrace the privilege and responsibility to nurture, defend, and support her freedom, spirit, and growth. Will you dedicate yourselves anew to that way of life which will fill her and all children’s hearts with memories of gladness and a sense of love and peace? (If so, please answer “I will.”)
Grandparents’ Statement of Commitment
Martha, as Abby’s grandmother, will you also promise to support Abby and all children as they grow, sharing with them the wisdom of your experience? (If so, please answer “I will”.)
Siblings' Statement of Commitment
As brothers and sisters, will you pledge to try to be a good example to them and do everything you can to accompany and help them through this journey of life? (If so, please answer “We will”.)
Commitment of the Children of the Congregation
Each child here also has an important role. Will you be a friend to these children, speak to them with kindness, and treat then with fairness? (If so can all of you say together, “We will”)
With water we anoint each child in turn, for water is the symbol of purity and life. And we give each of them a budding rose without thorns, as the symbol of unfolding life and love, of the better world we wish to give them, and of the beauty that is always at the center of goodness and truth. I touch...
- your head that you might be wise
- your lips that you might learn to speak truth
- your heart that you might learn to love deeply
- and your hands that you might learn to serve others.
Both now in the days to come, may you be
Strong in spirit, courageous in action, gentle of heart,
May you Act in wisdom, See the virtues of both faith and doubt and Discover your own hidden gifts,
May you meet others with compassion, be a source of healing, and find peace.
And may we all be inspired by the spirit of this gathering to increase our efforts to give these children — and all children — a world in which they know the promise of love, justice, and peace. Amen. And Blessed Be.
As these families and friends return to their seats, let us, sing together Hymn 1061, “For So the Children Come.” We’ll sing it twice.
(The short link to this page is frederickuu.org/ChildDedication)