Transitions and Rituals

Young adults stand in a line with palms outstretched.

Young adults hold a welcoming space during a bridging ritual for youth who are making the transition to young adulthood.

Unitarian Universalists believe in supporting our youth and young adults through times of transition. These life stages are full of changes which include loss, gain, confusion and growth. Our faith offers resources to help us make meaning of the changes we may experience as youth and young adults.

Lifestage Transitions

It’s meaningful to mark the changes that come with growing older. Many UU congregations hold year long programs called Coming of Age for children who are becoming youth. The transition from youth to young adult is often marked by a bridging ritual in congregations, at camps and conferences and at our national General Assembly. It can also be meaningful to mark the transition out of young adulthood into the rest of adulthood. Some young adult gatherings honor this transition with a bridging ritual as well.


Relationship Transitions

Relationships with family, friends and romantic partners are a huge part of our lives at any age. Youth and young adults may experience changes in their family structure as parents separate, find new partners or add children to the family. Committing to romantic partners and ending committed relationships can also be a part of young adulthood. Starting to raise children through birth, adoption or partnering with a parent brings big life changes, as does the loss that comes with the death of a loved one.

Changes in Home, Work or Identity

As young people explore the world and their role in it, it is common for us to leave one home and create new homes in new places. Many youth and some young adults are students who go through the joys and challenges of starting a phase of education or graduating from a program. Work is also a part of being young and brings the changes of getting a new job or losing/leaving a job. Lastly, people of all ages may go through transitions in how they experience or express their identities including gender identity.

More Resources

Book Cover for becoming, A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood.

Becoming is a wonderful resource for young adults going through times of transition

Cover of Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations.

The Coming of Age Handbook is a great resource for running this program in a congregation

Reaching for the Sun Meditations by Angela Herrera book cover.

Reaching for the Sun is part of the InSpirit series and offers readings and reflections to sustain a young person through transition