Preparing a Child Dedication

Congratulations!  A child is a blessing full of hope and potential.  This is an event worthy of formal recognition.  Rituals help mark the important times in our lives.

This page offers some ideas for a ceremony.  Review it  and we can work together to make the ceremony personal and profound.

A child dedication can happen any time after the child's birth.  Some parents do it while the child is an infant others do when the child is older and can understand the ceremony.   I have done child dedications for multiple children.

The parents wanted to dedicate their infant and realized they were unchurched when their older children  were infants. So we included the the older ones in the ceremony.

Considerations about location

Holding the ceremony in your home allows for a more informal setting and  the ritual is not constrained by the needs of a worship service.  The ceremony can focus completely on the child. The movement from ritual to a reception is seamless.

Holding the ceremony in the church allows for the inclusion of the wider community.  It is a way to get a pledge of support from other adults who hold values similar to your own.  Your family may participate and learn more about the community in which you are raising your child.

An outline of the service may include.

  •  Lighting the chalice
  • Song
  • Naming Ceremony
  • Vows for  the gathered Community
  • Vows for the Mentors/Godparents
  • Vows For The Parent
  • Child dedication
  • Song

The elements of the service are further described below.

There is no fee for members of the Unitarian Universalist Church, West Lafayette.  All others will be charged $100.


The Following are in the UU Hymnal

  • 123 Spirit of Life
  • 345 We Laugh, We Cry (verse 2)
  • 396 I Know This Rose Will Open.
  • 409 Sleep my Child

These contemporary songs are also appropriate.

  • Teach Your Children (Crosby Stills Nash & Young)
  • With Arms Wide Open (Creed)
  • For Baby ( John Denver)


At this time we talk about the meaning and significance of the name that has been chosen.

Vows for  Congregation

The couple has come to this congregation for support.  Do you the Unitarian Universalist Church gathered here in West Lafayette, IN.  promise to affirm _____ _______ _______ as a family? Do you promise to create a safe environment for ________ where (s)he can begin her/his free and responsible search for truth & meaning?  Will you help her/him learn the value of community?   If so, please say we do.

Vows for Mentors/Godparents

You have been chosen as Godparents.  This is an important role  for every child needs adults other than their parents  in whom they cantrust.  Do you dedicate yourself to __________ best interests and help Him/her as she travels the path to adult hood? If so, say we do

Vows for parents

_______ and ____ do you promise to raise ____ to the best of your ability; to listen as well as teach, to balance her/his safety with her/his freedom to explore. To nurture her/his physical, emotional and spiritual life? If so, say we do

Child Dedication

Here are three options.  Choose the ritual that fits best with your beliefs

  1. Rose Ceremony.  (this is the most common in UU Churches)
    A rose bud is dipped in water. The bud represents the potential of new life.
    Minister: ________ ________, This rose touches your brow that you may grow in wisdom and understanding. Touches your mouth so that you may taste the sweetness of life, Touches your heart that you may love abundantly. Touches your hands that you may find good work to do. Touches your feet that you may find your own path through life.
  2. Earth Centered Ceremony
    The minister or parent(s) hold the child.  
    __________ __________ __________ We hold you towards the South that you may feel the warmth of love.  We hold you toward the East the direction of the rising sun. May you embrace the full potential of your life, We hold you towards the North and pledge to help you face the storms of life. We hold you towards the West The direction of the setting sun. may your life move towards a beautiful horizon, We lower you towards the earth that you may be grounded in reality. We lift you towards the sky that you may be guided by your highest hopes
  3. Baptism.
    ______ _______ ______ We baptize you in the name of the creator. May the blessings of creation surround and support you all the days of your life. And in the name of Jesus, May you learn his lessons of love. And by the Holy Spirit, May you be guided by the highest aspirations.