Rites of Passage
One reason many people want to belong to a congregation is for the support, celebration, and recognition of rites of passage throughout life. Unitarian Universalists celebrate many milestones. Some are unique to the faith.
A parent blessing ritual can help prepare pregnant people and their families for the transformation of becoming parents for the first or subsequent times. These ceremonies are usually private.
During a child dedication ceremony, the congregation and the parents share in the joy of welcoming children into the community. We declare our shared responsibility for the care and nurture of every child. Each child is recognized by name, and blessed with water and a flower. Ceremonies take place during the regular service, although private ceremonies may be arranged if desired.
Stepping Stone Ceremony
Stepping Stones is a rite of passage in which we recognize that our children are grown enough to express their own understanding of what it means to be part of this religious community. Every other year, a preparatory curriculum is offered for 2nd and 3rd graders and a ceremony held in the worship service.
Coming of Age
Coming of Age marks an important step in the religious development of our 8th and 9th graders. The group spends a year engaging in a journey of meaning-making and faith formation, developing personal statements of belief and faith identity that reflect our Unitarian Universalist history, heritage, and principles. The program culminates in a full Sunday morning worship service created and presented entirely by the youth. Students share who they are and what they believe with the congregation. This curriculum is offered every other year.
Each spring we recognize youth who are Bridging into adulthood, and are preparing to transition to college or other post-secondary education, or begin their work lives. This is a public ceremony during a worship service.
As a faith, we embrace and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people. One of the ways we do this is to declare and act on our solidarity with marginalized people, including transgender people. A public or private ceremony in our congregational community recognizes a trans person’s new name and gender, and celebrates that person’s full humanity and dignity.
Marriage and Commitment Ceremonies
Marriage and commitment ceremonies celebrate the love of individuals who have chosen their life partner. Ceremonies are crafted individually to reflect the beliefs, values and hopes of the couple. We officiate interfaith and intercultural weddings, atheist weddings, LGBTQ weddings, and weddings for folks with diverse beliefs and styles.
Ritual recognition of the end of an important marriage or long-term relationship can be healing and help create freedom for all parties moving forwards. Private ceremonies can be designed to meet a former couple’s ritual needs.
Memorial and Funeral Services
In our congregation memorial and funeral services honor the person who has died, and celebrate the life they lived. Services are planned by the minister and the bereaved family, and often include poetry, prayer or meditation, music, perhaps an eulogy, and time for those attending to remember their loved one by sharing stories and memories.