Rather than holding Christian-style baptisms or christenings, most Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations have child dedication ceremonies for infants and children.
In the UU tradition, children of any age can be named and welcomed into the wider community and the human family with a dedication ceremony.
Child dedications are most often a part of a Sunday morning service. Parents or guardians and the child are invited forward, as well as any siblings, godparents, or family members who are involved. The congregation pledges its support to the child and family; the godparents, family members, and parents pledge their support for the child in body, mind, and spirit.
The child is named, and the symbols of water and a rose are often used to express our gratitude for the original blessing or gift of life, our present happiness, and future hopes for the child. UUs do not have a theology of “original sin” but focus on the potential goodness in all and celebrate the “original blessing” of life.
In special circumstances, arrangements can be made for a private dedication.
If you are a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples (UUCGN) and are interested in having a dedication, please contact us.
School Age Bridging
This milestone recognizes and welcomes the young child as he or she moves from the playroom into the Chalice Children’s classroom. School Age Bridging takes place when the child is 4 years old. The child is recognized with the gift of a book written by our own UUCGN-minted minister Jennifer Dant.
Bridging to Young Adulthood
The Bridging ceremony (for 12th graders or equivalent) celebrates members of our Youth Religious Exploration (YRE) program who are ready to assume the challenges of adulthood. The service, which generally takes place in May, often includes faith statements from the celebrants. Each celebrant receives a flower and a gift that represents going out into the world.