Blessings of the Elements

Based on Dedications led by the Revs Janne and Rob Eller-Isaacs, Unity Church-Unitarian, St. Paul, MN

Let us enter into a space of dedication and hope, of promise and love, as we bless these young members of our community. I invite (children and caretakers) to the chancel.

(Children’s names), by blessing you, we are celebrating the wonder of your birth, the sacredness of your life, and the love that has always, and will always, hold you. We’re also saying that we’re joyful you’re here, and can’t wait to see who you become, and through everything that happens in your life, the loving spirit of this congregation and our wider faith will be with you.

For we adore you and all the children of this community. Your laughter brings us joy, your questions bring us wonder, your creativity reminds us to play, and even when you raise your voice during the quiet times in worship, those times just remind us that the spirit moves as the spirit moves. We should always be grateful that it moves through you and that we get to hear it.

For you are a being of spirit and body, tied to the ancestors in breath and to all life in form. And so this morning, as you breathe in the air of this sacred space of your faith, we bless you with nature’s elements. These elements will surround you in one form or another wherever you go in life, and with this act of blessing, we pray that throughout your days, you will know your life as sacred; special, and a gift unto this world.

(Dabbing children with water) We bless you with water, this water collected from our Ingathering service at the start of our church year. May water bless you with coolness and clarity and the easing of thirst. May the waters of your life be both peaceful and wild, as your spirit needs. And when you need forgiveness in life, may water cleanse you and bring you back to wholeness.

(Warming the leader’s hand over the lit chalice, and then touching children with warmed hand) We bless you with fire, this warmth coming from the flame of our chalice. May fire bless you with passion and energy. May you find callings that feed your spirit, serve the Holy, and kindle kindness and compassion in the world. And may all be warmed by your unfolding lives that will spark goodness in the world, again and again.

(Waving a branch in front of the children) We bless you with air, symbolized by this fallen branch from a nearby tree. May air bless you with deep breaths and deep peace. When you need rest and renewal, may the ancient air fill your young bodies with the wisdom of just this moment; a moment that is free of worry, full of life, and always there for you.

(Rubbing a little dirt of the children’s foot) And we bless you with earth; with dirt; with mud. May this blessing of earth remind you to keep playing upon her, even as you treat her with love and care. In your play on the earth and in your care of her, may you be blessed with muddy knees and filthy clothes that no washer can clean, and earth under your fingernails, and dirt behind your ears, and mud between your toes, such that after you take a bath that night, the bathtub needs a bath! For each day when that is the case, you’ll know you’ve had a good, blessed day on and with the earth.

(Parents/Caretakers) please say aloud the names you’ve chosen your children:

(Children’s names) (Hand children the flowers), we bless with these flowers the names that you have been given, the bodies that hold your lives, and your minds that will grow and change. As these flowers transform from seed to bud to blossom, so too will you transform in ways we know and in ways we can’t. In all of the changes in your unfolding lives, may you know the timeless beauty of your spirit, and the eternal love that always holds you. (Children’s names) each of you born in grace and goodness; each of born in love and kindness, (children’s names) each of you born one more redeemer. Praise be to the Holy for your lives. May we be a faith and people worthy of the blessings you bestow upon us. Amen.

A baby holding a white rose is surrounded by smiling adults at a UU child dedication.
A baby plays with her own foot, with hands and foot covered in sand or dirt