Henri Nouwen said that “to give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer.”
[Names of Participant/s], You have come with stardust in your hair, with the rush of planets in your blood, your heart beating out the seasons of eternity, with a shining in your eyes like the sunlight.
As you stand here before this congregation, may it be known that we count you among our blessings.
When you were young there were assumptions made about you. You were given a name. Boxes, boundaries. You were called by words that were not right.
In your own true growing, you discovered that what you were given was not what you could keep. You had to try on new names, new words, new ways to be called. And you attended to–felt–how your spirit responded.
Let it be known that though you did not feel whole, you were still holy.
Let it be known that this journey of resistance, of discovery, of alignment has been a sacred one.
But now, whatever boundaries you have been given that have stifled your spirit, that have made you question your place in the world, may you be released from these.
May you feel the freedom to stretch fully into your most true self.
And may you witness all who love you, call you by the words and name that affirm the wonder and blessing that you are, that you have always been.
You might choose between the following two options:
- [Name of person whose given name has not changed but whose pronouns have changed], when we speak of you, we will affirm the plurality and expansiveness of your gender. We will not only respect you, but affirm who you are, by using the words that speak most truly to your heart, mind and body.
Gathered ones: Let me reintroduce you to [Name]. [Name] uses [provide pronouns] pronouns. We count [Name/pronoun] among our blessings.
- [Name of person whose given name and pronouns have changed], when we speak to you, we will relish in using a name that you have chosen, that is yours. When we speak of you, we affirm the plurality and expansiveness of your gender. We will not only respect you, but affirm who you are, by using the words that speak most truly to your heart, mind and body.
Gathered ones, I reintroduce you to [Name]. [Name] uses [provide pronouns] pronouns. We count [Name/pronoun] among our blessings.
Return to the ritual:
To give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer. I cannot do that alone. All who gather today, will you repeat after me:
"[Name], We dedicate you in the name of goodness, beauty and truth.
We bless you.
We are blessed by your authenticity and your trust."
As your life continues to unfurl, may you remember this moment as a time when you were seen, known and loved. Amen.
Rev. Kim offers thanks for the use and adaptation of "a whole heap of child dedications throughout the years that I nod to in the first paragraph."