Child dedications at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation are religious ceremonies held within the Sunday morning worship service in which a child is presented to the congregation by parent or parents. The child’s name is acknowledged. The parent or parents are asked to pledge their love and support for the child. Grandparents and/or godparents and siblings are also invited to pledge their love and support for the child. The child is touched by water, a symbol of life and nurture, and given a single rose, a symbol of new life and beauty, expressing our hope in the beauty and unfolding of the child’s life. The child is then officially introduced to the congregation. The members of the congregation dedicate the child and pledge their love and support for the spiritual growth of the child and his or her family.
A child dedication can be held anytime from a month after birth until the child is a few years old depending on the parents' choice. Older children are often dedicated when the family first joins a UU congregation or after the birth of a younger sibling.
A frequent prayer for the end of the service is:
May these children whom we have dedicated today receive abundantly the blessings of love, health, knowledge and wisdom. May this celebration work its miracle in our own hearts, that we may mold our lives, more and more, in accordance with the beauty, truth, goodness and love we hope for these children. In their names may all of us find joy. And by their being may generations to come be blessed. Amen.