Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote the worth and dignity of every person. A child dedication celebrates what we might think of as original blessing:
The words of UU Rev. Jane Rzepka, c. 1987:
“Infant dedications in our tradition must often seem puzzling. A number of people have asked that I print my comments to Jody made in a sermon immediately after his dedication:
Jody, I don’t know what your hopes were for your ceremony today, and I hope you’re not disappointed, but there is a thing or two we did not do. We did not, I’m afraid, wash away your sins. We believe you’re a good kid, Jody, worthy and lovely and miraculous, just as you are. We did not ‘save’ you either. We don’t know how. We will teach you and tend you and love you, and offer you our very best, but, sadly, we cannot promise you salvation. One more thing we didn’t do to you: We did not stamp you with our beliefs. We might have tried, I suppose, but Jody, we’d rather you use your own little head, your own little heart, and that imagination that’s tucked away somewhere inside you.
So we didn’t stamp you or save you or absolve you, but we did something we believe is better. We gave you a name that you must make your own, and we gave you a religious family complete with noble tradition and wisdom and love.”
A UU wedding, personal and thoughtful, tells the couple’s story and reflects their spirituality. In the months leading up to the wedding, the couple meet with Rev. Betsy. Everyone becomes well acquainted, and together they create the ceremony.
People often express surprised pleasure after a Unitarian Universalist memorial service: “I learned so much about her life!” “The service was all about him!” Relevant. Truthful. Poignant. Forgiving. Grateful. Gentle. A celebration of life.