Unitarian Universalists believe that every child brings new life and hope into the world. We set aside a special time, called simply a child dedication or blessing ceremony, for the community to bless the child and celebrate the blessing of this gift of life. The ceremony does not make the life of the child sacred; we believe that life is sacred inherently. When we dedicate a child we acknowledge the truth that each child’s life is sacred and hold that truth in the light of our faith.
There is no “standard” UU child dedication or blessing ceremony, and each service may use different words and elements from family, cultural, and religious traditions. As we join together to name and dedicate the child and ourselves, the identity and values of the church community and the family give the ceremony meaning. We affirm our commitment to nurture the child and hold the child in the fabric of community. Even a dedication done privately, not in the context of a public UU worship service, is a ceremony of blessings given and received. We are all blessed when we welcome the child into the human family and give our blessing to the child’s life as he or she begins their journey.
A child dedication or blessing ceremony is appropriate when a new baby is born, when a child is adopted, or when a family decides to join a UU community and wishes to have its children welcomed through dedication.