Rather than holding Christian-style baptisms or christenings, most Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations have child dedication ceremonies for infants and children.
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.
Arrangements can be made for a private dedication at the church, in your home, or a location of choice. If you are interested in having a child dedication, please contact the minister.
Excerpt from UU Child Dedication service:
“(Name), I dedicate you to the service of goodness, beauty, and truth. I touch you with this rose, a symbol of the beautiful unfolding life we wish for you.
I touch you with this water which symbolizes the purity with which you were born and will carry throughout your life. I touch you on your brow, your eyes, and your lips, that your thoughts, your vision, and your speech may be dedicated to the love and service of all humankind.”