What is a UU Baby/Child Dedication?

Child Dedication

Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church

Most religions have some type of ceremony to mark the arrival of a baby or child and express the commitment a community gives to the child and their parents – baptism, Bris, etc.

For Unitarian Universalists, we have a dedication ceremony, usually done during a regular worship service. This ceremony welcomes the child into our faith (and, especially for babies, into the larger world).

Unlike christening ceremonies, this ceremony does not dedicate or promise the child to a particular religion or system of belief. The “dedication” is what the parents/godparents/guardians commit to for the child, and what the community commits to, for the child and their family – supporting and nurturing the child’s spiritual life.

At Live Oak UU Church, our ceremony consists of three parts: naming, dedication, and blessing. We call aloud the child’s name, which is a symbol for their unique and individual life.  This is followed by asking the parents to renew their commitment to love and nourish their children. After that, we bless the children with the symbols of earth, air, fire, and water. Then, the congregation joins in a unison affirmation: We receive you into this community and dedicate ourselves to you, to nourish your growth in body and spirit, to provide examples of faithful living for you, and to support your spiritual development in the principles of our Unitarian Universalist faith.