In our tradition, we do not usually baptize infants, both because we do not believe in original sin (believing rather in the original blessing of each life) and because a baby is not yet old enough to choose his or her spiritual path. Instead we offer a naming and dedication ceremony which celebrates each child in his or her uniqueness and asks for the commitment of the parents and congregation to the child’s well-being and development through the years. In the dedication ceremony, which is held during a Sunday morning service, each child is blessed with a rose, symbolizing both their loveliness and the unfolding possibility of his or her life, and with water, symbolizing his or her innocence and the source of life in which he or she came into this world. Each family is presented with a Certificate of Dedication as well as a book written by a Unitarian Universalist author. It is a joyful rite of passage both for the family and the congregation as a whole. If you are interested in scheduling a dedication for child/children, or have further questions, please contact our office.

 

Frequently asked questions about our Child Dedications

Can we have a private dedication, or does it need to be held with the congregation?
Because the dedication ceremony recognizes the importance of the congregation supporting the parents and child/children in the years to come, the congregation has a significant role in the ceremony. They are both participants in and witnesses to the act of dedication. Occasionally, there are circumstances in which a private dedication makes sense, but for the most part, families are encouraged to see the dedication as an event for the whole community.

Do we need to be members of the congregation? 
While there is not a formal requirement for membership, the dedication ceremony is most meaningful when the families participating feel a connection with the congregation and with Unitarian Universalist faith and values.

Can we include a recognition of god-parents for our child/children?
Yes. If there are special people that you have asked to take on this committed relationship with your child/children, then the dedication ceremony is a place to honor that commitment.

Our child/children have not been baptized or dedicated and are no longer infants. Can we still have them dedicated?
Yes. We dedicate children and youth of all ages, with appropriate changes to the ceremony reflecting the age of the children being dedicated.

Is there a fee for having our child dedicated?
There is no fee for child dedications in our Fellowship. We are glad to have a chance to celebrate our youngest members and the future they will help to build.