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Child Dedication
Child Dedication
Ritual

This child dedication includes some multi-sensory elements. We recommend talking to parents in advance about how the child might respond.

Worship Leader: Friends and family, we have been brought together by [child] for a joyous occasion: to recognize and welcome [Child’s Name] into this world and circle of love. Every day that a child is born is a miracle; an opportunity to recognize the power of love; a day to give thanks for the beauty of the earth; a day to recognize that no one is brought up alone, and that every person born is a savior to the world. Welcome to this circle of love as we work to dedicate ourselves and each other to the care and tending of [Child's Name]. We recognize all who have gathered here now and those who are away from us in distance and time. We honor the ancestors who have left this world but not our hearts, and we welcome them here in our minds.

We begin with a poem from the poet Hafiz:

“What is the root of all these words?
One thing: Love.
But a love so deep and sweet
It needed to express itself
With scents, sounds colors
That never before existed.”

[Family’s names], who do you bring to this gathered community?

Parents/Guardians: (Gives Child's Name)

Worship Leader: Are you ready to dedicate [Child's Name] to this world?

P/G: We are.

Worship Leader: Will you promise to care for [Child's Name]? Love [child] with all your heart and soul? Will you raise [child] to love justice and live with compassion? Will you extend to [child] kindness and courage? And will you encourage [child] to live [child] dreams?

P/G: We will.

Leader: (Welcomes Grandparents/Elders into the circle) Will you promise to care for [Child's Name]? Love [child] with all your heart and soul? Will you raise [child] to love justice and live with compassion? Will you extend to [child] kindness and courage? And will you encourage [child] to live [child] dreams?

Grandparents/Elders: We will

Leader: (Welcomes Godparents in) Will you promise to care for [Child's Name]? Love [child] with all your heart and soul? Will you raise [child] to love justice and live with compassion? Will you extend to [child] kindness and courage? And will you encourage [child] to live [child] dreams?

Godparents: We will

Leader: (Welcomes children in) Will you promise to love [Child's Name]? To play with [child]? Will you grow up with [child] and be a friend? To teach [child] all the wonders of life?

Children: Yes!

Leader: (Addresses any remaining people) Will you promise to care for [Child's Name]? Will you help raise [child] to love justice and live with compassion? Will you extend to [child] kindness and courage? And will you encourage [child] to live [child’s] dreams?

Community: We will

Worship Leader: Let us bless [Child's Name] with the wonders of the earth.

(Anoint with water) [Child's Name], this is water. May you always find your thirst quenched. May you know the joy of hard work. May your tears be cared for. May you dance in rain and jump in pools and puddles. [Child's Name], you are water.

(Gently blow on face) [Child's Name], this is air. May your lungs be full of fresh, sweet air. May you know the joy of a good laugh. May you find your voice through song, whispers and shrieks. May you have a life full of scents, breezes and sighs. [Child's Name], you are air.

(Show a lighted candle) [Child's Name], this is fire. May it remind you of the divine spark of all of creation that is in you. May it inspire your commitment for love and justice. May you be kept warm by the community around you. May all your days be bright. [Child's Name], you are fire.

(Tickle with a thornless rose) [Child's Name], this is a flower made from the earth. May you know beauty. May you know that the earth provides all you need. (Tickle feet) May everywhere you go be blessed by your presence. (Tickle hands) May all your work be a blessing to the world. (Tickle chest and face) May all you do bring joy to the world. (Hand parents the rose) [Child's Name], you are the earth.

Worship Leader: Friends, it is with great joy that I present to you another gift to this world, a blessing to all of us, and a joy to all who may meet [child]: [Child's Name]

 

About the Author

  • Alex Haider-Winnett is a lifelong UU and a seminarian serving as the ministerial intern at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, California. He's a full-time dad and spouse and he enjoys comic books, bean and cheese burritos, and Universalist theology.

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