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Ceremony of Dedication:  Nicholas Hunter Rodriguez

Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, August 15, 2010

Guest Minister Rev. Paul Sprecher


Angel, Wendy & Hunter Rodriguez

Grandmothers are: Lucy & Joanne

Grandfathers are: Luis & Marlin who could not be with us today.


Minister: From the beginning of time, parents have brought their children to houses of worship for dedication, out of a reverence for the mystery of life and a desire that their precious children should have the support and love of other community members as they grow up.


Child dedication in a UU congregation is not the same as baptism or christening, which symbolize a cleansing of original sin.  Unitarian Universalists believe that children are born innocent, and that at the heart of that innocence lies the capacity for both good and ill.


We believe that these capacities are awakened and shaped by the influences which surround the child.  Crucial to this shaping environment is the influence of parents as well as their religious community.  So, today we rededicate ourselves, as parents, and as a community to the common task of raising our children to be the loving, compassionate, giving people we all aspire to be.


To the parents:  Angel and Wendy, in bringing Nicholas before us this morning, do you dedicate yourself anew to support your child in the pathway of truth, goodness and love, that he might know his self-worth and reach for his highest potential?


Parents:  We Do.


To the Parents:  In coming before this congregation, you have affirmed the importance of a religious community in the growth of your child.  Do you entrust a part of the joy and responsibility of his upbringing to our care, asking that we support you and impart to him those values which promote a human community of love and mutual understanding?


Parents: We Do.


To the Godparents: [Sydnee]: And Carly who could not join us  but is here in spirit and agrees to the following. Today on behalf of Angel and Wendy I ask you to take on a special relationship to Nicholas as his Godparents.  Do you dedicate yourself to support these children in reaching as wide as the stars for his dreams, remaining a presence in his life as one of his greatest champions?


Godparent:  I do.


Minister: We bless this child with the elements of our common being, with earth, air, fire and water.


(The minister holds up a rose)


With this rose, representing earth, we bless your unfolding life.  Take care of yourself as a body, be good to yourself, for you are a good gift.


(The minister blows gently on the child’s head)


With air, which is as fluctuating as our emotions, we bless you.  You will know sorrow and joy, rage and contentment, resentment and ecstasy.  Feel your passions, for they are good gifts.


(The minister holds a flame aloft before the child’s eyes)


With fire, which is as illuminating as intelligence, we bless you.  Reason with care, test the world, think with care, for your mind is a good gift.


(The minister touches the water to the child’s hand)


With water, a universal symbol of birth and new life, we bless you.  Grow in conscience, be rooted in stories, grow spiritually, for spirit too is a good gift.


Will the congregation please join me in speaking responsively the words printed in the order of service?


All: In welcoming a child, we celebrate the miracle of birth.


Minister: This is a time for joy.  We rejoice when a child is born into the care and concern, not only of parents, but also of our community.


All: Every child born into the world needs the love and care of others.  Each deserves to be held in loving arms and to be encouraged that there are many paths to wholeness and self-expression.


Minister: Each child has the right to be affirmed for his or her inherent worth and dignity, to be encouraged in the search for a spiritual life, and to be acknowledged as a part of the interconnected web of life.  Every child bears gifts that can bless the world.


All: In welcoming a child, we celebrate our hopes for life.