Transitions and Rituals for Youth
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.
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.
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.
- Find a minister for a same sex wedding or commitment ceremony
- Learn about UU weddings in general
- General ritual for times of transition
- Examples of a Bridging Ritual, a Coming of Age Ritual, and a Child Dedication Ritual
- Reflections on discerning relationship commitment, choosing an identity, and dealing with the death of a family member