The Ceremony of Dedication welcomes infants and children into our community.
In this brief service, members and friends of the congregation celebrate each child and honor each family by welcoming them into the gathered community of faith and hope. It marks a moment of great joy but is also a serious affirmation of life and love.
Like the Christian sacrament of baptism, and like the Jewish rite of circumcision (the bris), the Dedication bears witness to the Naming of the child. But unlike a baptism, the Dedication makes no reference to any doctrine of “original sin;” and though, as in the bris, the child is welcomed into a certain tradition and history, it is always understood that each person’s faith must be chosen, and not imposed. The child may later choose Unitarian Universalism, but the Dedication neither implies nor presumes this.
Child Dedications occurs as part of regular Sunday services, or may be held (like other sacred celebrations) at other times, in other places. Infants as well as older children are dedicated in our services. Customs vary among ministers and congregations, with some preferring “group dedications” (for several families at once on a special Sunday) and other dedication children one by one.
Our ministers will preside at a Ceremony of Dedication here at our church, or at another site.