Transgender Re-naming Ceremony
We are called by the principles of our faith to embrace and affirm the inherent worth of dignity of all people. Some of us affirm quite simply that we are each made in the image of God. Others of us would say we are reflections of the awesome beauty and mystery of this earth and this universe. However we may personally articulate where that worth and dignity comes from, it is central to who we are as Unitarian Universalists. We take it seriously; it is one of the reasons our faith has long declared its solidarity with marginalized people, including transgender people.
Today we recognize a new name and celebrate a life of integrity for the person many of us have known for years as ___________ (old name).
<New name>, will you please come forward?
Today we are part of creating the sacred space that allows <new name> to live her new identity fully in our community.
<New name>, we know this has been a long journey for you, as someone who has desired for many years to live outwardly as you feel your true identity to be, a woman; a journey made longer by real fear of what others may say or do, and by the conventions of our current culture that deny the humanity of transgender people.
It is an honor to be with you today, and to ask you: What is your new name?
<new name, first middle and last>
This name now symbolizes all that you truly are and are becoming.
I see you and I recognize you as <new name>
[To congregation] Today is also a turning point for all of us, for as we have known and loved <old name>, we now have the opportunity to know and love <new name>. It is an opportunity to act as religious witnesses; to put our beliefs into action as we welcome all of who <new name> is to this community. And so, Beloved Congregation, I ask you:
Will you do all that you can to welcome <new name> into our congregation?
Will you support her and each other in becoming all that we have been created to be?
Congregation: We will.
<new name>, as a symbol of our welcome and our love we present you with a new name tag, and we re-affirm your place of belonging here among us.
Please join me in a prayer of blessing and gratitude.
God of infinite love and infinite diversity,
We give thanks for the resilient spirit that brought <new name> to this day;
may that brave spirit continue strong all the days of her life.
Bless her and keep her safe from harm.
We give thanks for the ever renewing Spirit of Love that opens us all to new understandings, to new possibilities.
We give thanks for the Grace that enables us be uncomfortable and to grow together, and still to be loved.
We give thanks for the inner spark in all of us that nudges us to live with more integrity, showing the truth of our lives.
Note: This ritual was created for a transwoman who preferred the pronouns "she/her."