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... each of the three times I have been present at the birth of one of my children, I have been overwhelmed by a sense of reverence... It was quite suddenly, the first day of creation; the Goddess giving birth to a world... Like men since the beginning of time I wondered: What can I ever create that will equal the magnificence of this new life? — Sam Keen, author

As Unitarian Universalists, we believe life is sacred---not only human life, but all life that shares our planet. The ritual of child dedication is one way UUs show we revere life and celebrate its beginning. This session looks at traditions and rituals to welcome new life into families and faith communities. Shape the activities to reflect the traditions and experiences of your congregation and families.

Activity 4, Child Dedication, calls for one or two families to visit and tell about their child dedication ritual. Several weeks ahead, arrange for one or two families to visit; they need not be families with children in this group.


This session will:

  • Invite children to experience wonder, awe, and reverence for life, particularly in its emergence through birth or new beginnings
  • Demonstrate different ways UUs demonstrate our reverence for life, through rituals such as a child dedication and through everyday actions
  • Explore the UU tradition of child dedication—what happens in a ceremony, and what the ceremony means.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Appreciate the miracle of birth and new beginnings
  • Learn UU ways to express reverence for life
  • Learn how the congregation and the families in it celebrate births and beginnings
  • Understand what it means to "dedicate."

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