At New Unity, we recognise every new child as bringing new hope and possibility to the world. A child dedication ceremony helps us to recognise this potential and to commit to support the nurture of the child and support of the parent(s) and/or carer(s). A child dedication is a celebration of new life and the promise of family and friends to help that new life achieve their full potential.
We welcome all families, regardless of marital status, beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, or number of the identified parents.
The ceremony. As a non-religious church, we don't use terms such as baptism or christening. Instead, we use 'child dedication'. But if you prefer, we can describe the ceremony as a 'child welcoming', or use another similar term.
Guide-parents. A child dedication usually involves adults (who are not the child's parents) committing themselves to be there for the child and help in their nurture and guidance. If you'd prefer to use a different term, we'd be happy to discuss this.
Child dedication ceremonies are conducted by our minister, Rev. Andy Pakula. They usually consist of two sections: the Naming and the Dedication.
Naming: The parents are asked to confirm the name of the child and explain, if they wish, why they chose this name. The minister then confers this name symbolically upon the child. Next, the minister compares the child to a rose, reminding us that a child - like the flower - will grow into to their full beauty and potential only with suitable nurture and care. The rose is then dipped in water, which symbolises the connection between all living things, and touched to the child’s head with a wish that their life will be happy and meaningful.
Dedication: The parents, guide-parents, and everyone else assembled speaks words of commitment to nurture and guide the child as they grow, and to support the child’s parents in the important work of child-raising.
The ceremony can be held as a standalone event or, for families that feel attached to the New Unity congregation, may be held as part of our Sunday Gathering. If the ceremony is held as a standalone event, then you can choose to include additional readings, meditation, candle-lighting, music and other such elements. The nature of the ceremony is flexible. We're happy to work with you to craft the event that's right for you and your family.
Our costs include:
- Rev Andy's services as a celebrant (including all prior consultation)
- Hire of the venue
- All admin support
Our costs exclude extras such as flowers and live music.
If you have questions, feel free to email Andy Pakula by email (RevAndy@new-unity.org) or by phone (07809 144879). Andy will be happy to meet with you to learn about your particular circumstances and preferences, and help you craft the ceremony that suits you best.