Christenings & Dedications

July 23, 2009 - 6:25 pm 28 Comments

The Christening Service
for Eva McCabe Allen
The Unitarian Church In Charleston
February 10, 2008

Opening Words:
In welcoming children, we celebrate one of life’s continuing miracles,
the miracle of birth. Children are among the greatest gifts. They are
our greatest human gift, treasures endowed and entrusted to us by God.
The child is a unique and individual being, filled with promise and
potential, that requires our care and understanding. We, as Eva’s
parents, friend and family, model the values and ideals that will help
to mold this child’s personality and growth. The role of the extended
family bases its value, maybe even its continued existence, on respect
for the child, and the humility it takes to work and grow together
towards unselfish and noble ends.

ADDRESS TO THE PARENTS
Christy and Jeff, from your smile, your children will learn to smile and
feel accepted, her mind and thoughts will be formed. From your steps,
Eva learned to walk and to follow; From your hands, she learns to grasp
and carry- that she might adapt well to life’s tasks.
Your goodness will be her pattern; your shortcomings, hers to know and
avoid. Your fear or your doubt, your strength or your faith become her
standards, her reality.
CHARGE TO THE MOTHER
Christy, I charge you to take on the privilege and responsibility of
motherhood. To care for this child in body, mind, and spirit, so that
she might grow into full personhood, and develop into being an
enlightened individual. By the way you choose to live your life, your
child will learn how to love and learn, question and care.
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In this symbolic act of anointing, you are also charged to live in a way that is true and honorable, reverent and respect worthy. Will you now pledge to your child your commitment to her individuality, and your unqualified love that allows her to become her best self? “I WILL”

CHARGE TO THE FATHER
Jeff, I charge you to take on the privilege and responsibility of
Fatherhood, and to help set the tone and the tenor of Eva’s personality.
For Eva will measure herself by your standards and look to you for
courage. You will show her how to live, how to love, how to persevere,
and how to sing from her heart.
In this symbolic act of anointing, you are also charged to live in a way that is true and honorable, reverent and respect-worthy. Will you now pledge to your child your commitment to her individuality, and your unqualified love that allows her to become her best self? “I WILL”

CHARGE TO THE FAMILY PRESENT TODAY
As Eva’s family and guides, you will enrich this child’s life through
sharing with her your talents, skills, beliefs and values. If Christy
and Jeff are in some way unable, will you accept the responsibility for
Eva’s spiritual nurture? Will you, to the best of your ability and
understanding, provide her with wisdom and encourage her willingness to
offer empathy and service for all humanity? Will you provide her with an
unselfish and patient love? ” WE WILL”

RITE OF CHRISTENING
I would like to share with you some of the ways , we as U-Us welcome a child; you already are familiar with dedications, so I will not say more right now…Baptism almost always refers to one of two theological concerns;
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it is either invoked in infancy as a necessary cleansing or washing away of some inherited or original sin, or as an adult, the act of baptism is seen as a sign of willing agreement with the theology, goals and ideals of a religious community. Because of those implications, most, if not all U-Us do not baptize. Instead, among those U-Us who are theists or liberal Christians or who chose to follow a spiritual path, The word Christening is used. This term invokes the ancient, mystical and spiritual truth of the Early Church, before all those limiting dogmas and exculsionary doctrines. It states that God lives in us and lives among us. So this ritual will serve to affirm the promise and belief that God lives within this child and in every person.
To be “enchristened” means that we recognize this holy dimension in Eva and in one another. That every child is a potential Messiah. It is a belief and a ritual that serves to empower our spiritual search, it strengthens our faith, increases our potential to serve, and impels us to live up to what is truly good, right, and holy in ourselves, and in our world.

A child is like a new star in the heavens. They are for us, a new love,
and a new hope. It is with this spirit, I will now christen this child.
Eva McCabe Allen, with this water and this flower, symbols of purity and life, knowledge, and growth, I touch your lips that the thoughts you
will express may be gentle and kind, clear and true. I touch your eyes,
that they may see the life’s beauty and wonder of being; that they might
look with compassion and understanding on all others. I touch your ears,
that they may be attentive to wise counsel, to the cry for justice, and
be able to listen for every authentic voice in our world.
Lastly, I touch your heart, that it may be tender and strong, caring and
courageous, able to feel and respond to life openly and willingly. May
you serve with all your mind and soul the ideals of truth and beauty,
May your growth in spirit serve to strengthen your nobility of purpose.
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From this day forward, day by day as your life unfolds into the future, may the true riches and blessings of life be abundantly yours.

As this flower unfolds its beauty, may the life of this child unfold. Among the spiritual gifts we offer, we give her this candle, to represent her inner light, and her potentials of enlightenment. Lastly, we offer the gift of salt, that she might have a taste for life and savor it, and that she might have the wisdom to know what is good, and to know the difference.
By this act, may Eva start and affirm her journey towards finding herself and the God within.

CONGREGATIONAL STATEMENT:

Pastoral Blessing:
Eva, may you have the strength to stand up against all that might
threaten you, and may you have the courage and the skill to do whatever
is required of you and what your most desire to do. May you possess a
good intelligence, to learn what you need to know, and to pursue the
truth you seek. May you be fearless and tender.
May you love the beauty of the world, its flowers and trees, its hills
and seas, the movement and Life of all things. Any may you know and love
the music and the rhythm of nature. May you always stand on your own
feet and walk you own path with faith in God and faith in yourself. And may you know what it means to love and be loved, having a zest for life.

CLOSING PRAYER
Holy one, a young life, infinite in her promises, blesses us and through her, we continue the heritage of our family. We pray for compassion, wisdom, and resolve that will release those potentials.
May every grace be with this child, remembering those who have come before us, and those who cannot be with us today, and also recalling that those who come after us, must inherit the world from us, so it is that we resolve as a family, and as a congregation, to dedicate ourselves to build
a more kind, just, and happy human order. Amen So Be It Blessed Be
CONGRATULATIONS!

The Christening Service
for
Alexandra Ray Steer
Lynch Park Beach Beverly, Mass.
September 24, 1994 10: 00 A.M.

TO THE GATHERED FAMILY AND FRIENDS:

Dear family members and friends, we have gathered here, on this day
to share in an occasion of great joy. We come to pause and with thanksgiving , that we may rejoice in the potential of new life which is resident in every child. Today we formally welcome Alexandra Ray Steer into her family and affirm her place within the love of here extended family and friends.
Throughout human history, the naming and welcoming of a new child has been celebrated as an act of high and holy signifigance. It is in that timeless spirit that we gathered here today, to name this child, and in naming, create a ritual that celebrates here uniqueness and that reaffirms our common bonds of caring and responsibility.

ADDRESS AND CHARGE TO THE PARENTS

Concerning parents and their influence, it has been written, ” you are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are send forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the Infinite, and He bends you with his might, that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness. For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so, too, He loves the bow that is stable.”
Cynthia and Michael, from your smiles, your child will learn to accept happiness and goodness. From your words, her thoughts and ideas will be formed. From your steps, she will learn to walk into the light; from your hands, to grasp and hold on to life and to reach for the stars. Your goodness will be her pattern; your shortcomings, hers to know and avoid. Your fears and doubts, your strength and wisdom, will become her standards, her reality.

In asking for this christening for your child, you offer the dedication of yourselves to her fullest development in every way. In seeking for her this blessing ceremony, it expresses your pledge to bestow in her, the love of truth, the awareness of human weakness and the vision of full personhood, compassion and peace.
Will you now pledge to your child , your commitment to teach, with and through your lives, and will you pledge to also learn from her, and to offer her the love that will let her become her true self ?

“WE WILL”

SHARED READING BY CYNTHIA AND MICHAEL

CHARGE TO THE GODPARENTS

Susan and Geoff, you have been chosen to enter into a special and everlasting relationship with Alexandra. As the Godparents of this child, do you now promise that by your example and your affection, you will help Alexandra to find a greater appreciation of truth and beauty, spirituality, openness and love?

“WE WILL”

THE ACT OF CHRISTENING:

( Minister asks for the child…) Alexandra Ray Steer, I hold this rose from this beautiful garden, and from your family’s silver bowl, will take some sea water, a symbol of timeless ebb and flow, purity, and the origins of life.
I now touch your lips , that the words and ideas you will express will be clear, and kind, and true. … I touch your eyes, that they may behold all the beauty, wonder and joy of being alive, and that you will look with compassion and understanding on life and others.
I touch you ears, that you may become attentive to wise council, and to hear Nature ‘s songs of life. … I touch your hands, so that they may learn to serve the real needs and higher aspirations of humankind. ( Minister returns child to parents)

THE STATEMENT OF AFFIRMATION BY FAMILY AND FRIENDS

We, Alexandra’s family and friends, declare the value of Alexandra to us. We will cherish her uniqueness and will assist her in learning values and modeling love. Above all, we now accept the role of companion and friend in her journey through life; we offer this child a spiritual home.

Do you now so affirm and accept these ideals?
” WE WILL”

PASTORAL BLESSING:

May God bless you and grant that you will have a healthy body and the strength to withstand all that might challenge you. May you have the courage and the skills to do whatever is required of you, and what you most desire to accomplish. May you possess the intelligence necessary to learn what you need to know and the power to pursue the truth that is within you. May you be fearless and tender; May you love the beauty of our world and the grace found in all living things. May you come to know and respect the music and rhythm of the Creation. May you always stand on your own two feet, and walk your own path with faith in God and in yourself, and may you come to know what it means to love and to be loved. AMEN

The Christening Service
for
Aiden Sheridan Da Costa
Folly Beach, SC
July 28, 2007 9:00 AM

Opening Words and Christening Ceremony: The Rev. Peter E. Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

Good Morning! In welcoming children, we celebrate one of life’s continuing miracles, the miracle of birth. Children are among the greatest gifts of the Creation, and surely they are the greatest human gifts- treasures endowed and entrusted to us by God.
The child is a new entity- a unique and individual being, who is filled with promise and potential that requires our care, guidance, and understanding. We, as this child’s parents, friends, we have the responsibility of modeling the foundational values and guiding ideals that will mold and shape this child’s personality and growth. The role of the extended family bases its value, maybe even its continued existence, on respect for the child, and the humility it takes to work together, and to cooperate towards making unselfish decisions and upholding noble results.

ADDRESS TO THE PARENTS
Amber and Drew, from your smile, your son will learn to smile and to feel accepted. From your speech and use of words and ideas, his mind and thoughts will be formed. From your steps, Aiden will learn to walk and to follow. From your hands, he will learn to grasp and to carry, that he might adapt well to life’s tasks. Remember always, that your goodness will be his pattern;
your shortcomings, will be for him to know and avoid. Your fear or your doubt, your strength, and your faith, becomes his standards, his reality.
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CHARGE TO THE PARENTS
Therefore, Amber and drew, I now charge you with the privilege and responsibility of parenthood. To care for your child in body, mind, and spirit, so that he will grow into his full personhood, and develop into being a more enlightened, happy, and healthy individual.
Do you so promise? WE DO

CHARGE TO THE GODPARENTS
Tatianna and Drew, as the chosen guides for Aiden’s ethical growth and spiritual development, you will fulfill the role of godparents. As guides, you will seek to enrich this child’s life through sharing with him, your talents, skills, insights, and values. If amber and drew are in some way unable, will you accept the responsibility for Aiden’s spiritual nurture? Will you, to the best of your ability and understanding, provide him with wisdom, respect for Nature, and will you encourage him to have empathy and to offer service to all humanity? Will you provide him with your unselfish and patient love? WE WILL

Statement or Reading:

RITE OF CHRISTENING:
As a small explanatory preface to this ritual, I would like to state why we have chosen to call this ceremony a Christening rather than a dedication or a baptism. A dedication is usually considered to be a simple naming ritual, a welcoming, that doesn’t refer to God, or the spiritual dimensions of life.

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Baptism, almost always refers to one or two principal theological and doctrinal concerns; it is either invoked as a necessary cleansing or a washing away of some inherited or original sin, or it is seem as a sign of willing agreement with the theology, beliefs, goals and ideals of a religious community.
Neither of these ideas or concepts reflect Amber or Drew’s belief about their child. In choosing the word, Christening, we invoke the ancient mystical and spiritual truth of the early Church: That God lives within this child and every person. To be “Enchristed” means that we recognize this holy dimension as being graciously alive in Aiden and in one another. It is an empowering ritual for it reminds us, and strengthens us, giving a renewed dedication to our willingness to have faith, to offer service to others, and to live up to what is good, right and true in ourselves and in our world.
(Minister now asks the Godparents to give him the child…)
Minister: A child is like a new star in the heavens; they are for us, new light, new love, new hope. In the ancient tradition we recall the words: We share in one faith, one hope, one God that is with us all and in us all. It is with this Spirit, I will now christen this child…
Aiden Da Costa, with this water and this flower, symbols of purity and life, knowledge and growth, I will touch your lips, that the thoughts you will express be gentle and kind, clear and true. I touch your eyes, that they might see life’s beauty, and behold the wonder of being- that they might look with compassion and understanding on all others. I touch your ears, that they might be attentive to wise council, to the cry for justice, and able to listen to every authentic voice in our world. Lastly, I touch your heart, that it may be tender and strong, caring and courageous, and able to feel and respond to life openly and unafraid.
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(Minister returns the child to God parents…)
PASTORAL BLESSING:
May Our Father/Mother/God bless you, and grant that you might have a healthy body with strength to stand up to what life requires of you, and to act on what you most want to do with your life. May you have a good intelligence, to learn what you need to know, and that gives you access to the truth you seek. May you be fearless and tender, loving the beauty of the world, the movement and colors of life, and become appreciative of the rhythms of music and the seasons. May you always stand on your own two feet, with faith in God and faith in yourself, and may you always know what it means to love and be loved, having a zest for life.

PRESENTATION OF GIFTS
In the early Church, a child would be given symbols of spiritual life, blessings, and hope that his new life represents. Today, we give Aiden this yarrow flower, symbolizing love and courage; we also give him a candle to represent his inner light and potentials for enlightenment. Lastly, we offer him some salt, that he might have a taste for life, and learn to savor it, and that he might have the wisdom to know what is good, lasting, and true. AMEN; SO BE IT!

The Dedication Service
for
Savannah Jasmine Wilson

Opening Words and the Dedication Service: The Reverend Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

In welcoming a child, we celebrate one of life’s continuing miracles, the miracle of birth. Children are our greatest human gift, treasures endowed and entrusted to us.
Each child is a new entity-a unique and individual being, filled with promise and potential, that requires our care and understanding. We, as the parents and family of our children, model the values and ideals that will help to mold their personality and growth.
Every human life and every baby born is precious.
Savannah, how will we welcome you into our world? All our flowers and all our wine cannot express how happy we are at your birth. All the caresses of our eyes and hands cannot measure the fullness of our love. We cannot hold you close enough.
We welcome you to this world of light and shade, play and work, laughter and tears, good and evil. We welcome you as one born of earth, and yet more than those elements, possessing the qualities and possibilities of the human soul.
As a part of this ceremony, we will call on your family and your community to assist and serve you, for we are a part of your personal world, and we are responsible for guarding your freedoms, your life and its opportunities. Today, we shall also recall the other children who will share your world with you, whose welfare is inseparable from your own. May each person here use this time of reaffirmation to work and create a more just and peaceful world for you, for all our children, and for all whose lives are linked with yours.

STORY: On The day You Were Born Tricia Racafz, DRE
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To your parents, Nigel and Dagmar, let us once more hear the wise words of the poet and mystic, Kahlil Gibran, who wrote these words in his book, The Prophet.
“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said:
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, but are not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and bends you with his might that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness,
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves the bow that is stable.”

CHARGE TO THE SPONSORS
Ana and Kurt, as the chosen sponsors of Savannah, if Nigel or Dagmar are in some way unable, do you willingly accept the responsibility for Savannah’s spiritual nurture? Will you, to the best of your ability, provide Savannah with an unselfish and patient love? “WE WILL”

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Charge To The Parents
Dagmar and Nigel, in asking us today to dedicate your child, you offer the dedication of yourselves to her fullest development in every possible way. You seek for her, the blessings of participating in our free faith and of the universal church, and so you are pledging to inculcate in her, to the best of your abilities, the love of truth and the dream of brother and sisterhood and peace.
By your teachings and example, you would help her to be reverent and strong, and equal to the tasks and temptations that will confront her. She is a wonderful creation of your love and life together, and it is your desire to make her life as wonderful as it can be. This ceremony for you, is the public symbol of your gratitude and your resolve.
Will you now pledge to your child your commitment to her individuality and to the love that will let her become herself? “WE WILL” Dana McLean Greeley

I now ask that you pass Savannah to Tricia for the naming and blessing….
It is only right and proper that Tricia participates in this service. Since she is our professional religious educator for our children, she will be responsible for her nurture, education, and care while you are members of this community. Together with the minister, and oftentimes more directly, the Director of Religious Education provides our children with a healthy role model for the liberal religious life, its values and ideals.

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Savannah, may you have a healthy body with the strength to stand against all that might threaten you, and may you have the courage and the skill to do whatever is required of you and what you most desire to do. May you have good intelligence, to learn what you need to know, and the power to pursue the truth you seek. May you be fearless and tender. May you love the beauty of the world, its flowers and trees, the mountains and flowing streams, the movement of all living things. And may you know and love the music and rhythm of creation. May you always stand on your own two feet, and walk your own paths with faith. And may you know what it means to love and be loved. May you always have a zest for life.

Now I will take the elements of life, starting with this vessel that holds the water that is symbolic of the tides of human life, its changes and renewal, and with the beauty of this rose, I touch your lips, that the thoughts they express may be kind, clear and true. I touch your eyes that they may behold the beauty and wonder of being; that they might look with compassion and understanding. I touch your ears, that they may be attentive to wise council, to the cry for justice, and to listen for every authentic voice in Nature and in our world. Lastly, I touch your heart and your hands, that they may remain open to others, to love and to serve them and to work for the best motives, aspirations, and goals we humans possess.
As this flower unfolds its beauty, may the life of these children unfold…
(Minister hands the roses to Savannah… followed by the salt that signifies wisdom and discernment and the candle that is symbolic of the human spirit)

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And to Tristen and to , I give you these candles as reminders to continue to be big brothers for Savannah and to cooperate with and encourage her always..

Community Pledge (Would the members of the UUFCC please stand…. and recite these words together…..
“We shall endeavor to maintain a helpful, wholesome, and loving community for Savannah, and to all our children as we rejoice in the eternal promise their lives represent. We pledge now to these children and their parents, the loving guidance, support and care of this Unitarian-Universalist community.”

Closing words of Benediction:

New lives, infinite in their potential, bless us. We pray for wisdom to help release that potential. May every grace be with this child, her parents, and all who love them. Remembering that those who come after us must inherit their world from us, let us dedicate ourselves to our part in the building of a more kind, just, and happy human order. So Be it, and Blessed Be!

Some Additional Readings:
Buddhist:
The family which respectfully honurs its father and mother will be free of both human and non-human harm. That they will be “attended by Brahma” means they will receive the blessings of the gods; and “attended by spiritual teachers” means they will also receive the blessings acquired through the special virtues of holy men.
An immediate benefit of such reverence is that, in this very life, it will give rise to a good reputation. As for the future, it will enable the attainment of birth in the higher states. Hence, those who live as householders should take great care to honour father and mother.

We are all born into the turning wheel of life…. Samsara- birth, death, and rebirth- and it is around this wheel, that our lives run, chasing their meaning, carrying out their purpose, leading us towards wisdom…

In celebrating the birth of a new soul among us, we acknowledge that she/he has been given an identity, and various skills , and a purpose to be fulfilled… as her/his parents and extended family, as her/his spiritual community, we will remember this, and honor all our interactions with our insight and and model compassion in all our relationships….

Native American:

Ye who love the haunts of Nature, Love the sunshine of the meadow,
Love the shadow of the forest, Love the wind among the branches,
And the rain-shower and the snowstorm, And the rushing of great rivers
Through their palisades of pine-trees, And the thunder in the mountains,
Listen to this Indian Legend, To this Song of Hiawatha!

Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple, Who have faith in God and Nature,
Listen to this simple story, To this Song of Hiawatha!

Indian Blood

To all of my relatives. The Blood will never loose its power~

My Blood is mixed but my heart is fixed on the ways of my mother’s people.
So deeply ingrained, the child was trained by elders wise and honorable.

Taught from birth to love mother earth, to honor the work of Creator.
What a noble creed! This life that I lead is simple yet could not be greater.

First Nations all have taken a fall but never took root in the mud.
America flourished, her lands nourished and strengthened by Indian blood.

Jorie~

Jorie West Copyright ©2002

Order of Service for October 24, 1999

Prelude
Welcome, Announcements and Introductions
Introit
Chalice Lighting
Hymn:

The Dedication Service for
Savannah Jasmine Wilson
Recessional

Joys and Sorrows
Offertory

Presentation by the U-U Students
at Penn State University

Update on Ministerial efforts at Social Action:
Interfaith Coalition, and Interfaith Ministry

Hymn: Let It Be A Dance

Closing Words

Postlude
The Dedication Service
for
Maura Lindsey Boyle

In welcoming a child, we celebrate one of life’s continuing miracles, the miracle of birth. Children are our greatest human gift, treasures endowed and entrusted to us.
Each child is a new entity-a unique and individual being, filled with promise and potential, that requires our care and understanding. We, as the parents and family of our children, model the values and ideals that will help to mold their personality and growth.
Every human life and every baby born is precious.
Maura, how will we welcome you into our world? All our flowers and all our wine cannot express how happy we are at your birth. All the caresses of our eyes and hands cannot measure the fullness of our love. We cannot hold you close enough.
We welcome you into the human community. We welcome you as one born of earth, and yet more than those elements, possessing the qualities and possibilities of the human soul.
As a part of this ceremony, we will call on your family and your community to assist and serve you, for we are a part of your personal world, and we are responsible for guarding your freedoms, your life and its opportunities. Today, we shall also recognize the other children who will share your world with you, whose welfare is inseparable from your own. May each person here use this time of reaffirmation to work and create a more just and peaceful world for you, for all our children, and for all whose lives are linked with yours.
To your parents, Deborah and Tim, let us once more hear the wise words of the poet and mystic, Kahlil Gibran, who wrote these words in his book, The Prophet.

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“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said:
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, but are not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and bends you with his might that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness,
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves the bow that is stable.”

Charge to the Godparents:
Sheridan and Christian, in being chosen as the godparents for Maura, you accept a position of trust and caring that supports the best ideals of nurturing and inspiration. As her godparents, do you now promise, that by your example, and through sharing your talents, skills, beliefs and values, that you will help Maura to find a greater appreciation of truth and beauty, openness and love? “WE WILL”

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Charge To The Parents
Deborah and Tim, in asking us today to dedicate your child, you offer the dedication of yourselves to her fullest development in every possible way. You seek for her, the blessings of participating in our free faith. You are also pledging to inculcate in her, to the best of your abilities, the love of truth, compassion and peace.
By your teachings and example, you would help her to be kind and strong, and equal to the tasks and temptations that will confront her. She is a wonderful creation of your love and life together, and it is your desire to make her life as wonderful as it can be. This ceremony for you, is the public symbol of your gratitude and your resolve.
Will you now pledge to your child your commitment to her individuality and to the love that will let her become herself? “WE WILL”

Charge to Lucy
Lucy, you are Maura’s big sister… Will you promise to help her, protect her, and teach her by your caring and love? YES

I now ask that you pass Maura to Janet for the naming and blessing….
It is only right and proper that Janet participates in this service. Since she is our professional religious educator for our children, she will be responsible for her nurture, education, and care while you are members of this community. Together with the minister, and oftentimes more directly, the Director of Religious Education provides our children with a healthy role model for the liberal religious life, its values and ideals.

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Maura, may you have a healthy body with the strength, the courage and the skill to do whatever is required of you and what you most desire to do. May you possess the intelligence necessary to learn what you need to know, and the power to pursue the truth you seek. May you be fearless and tender. May you love the beauty of the world, and may you come to know and love the music and rhythm of creation. May you always stand on your own two feet, and walk your own paths with faith. And may you know what it means to love and be loved. May you always have a zest for life.

Now I will take some water, that is symbolic of the tides of human life, its changes and renewal, and I touch your lips, that the thoughts they express may be kind, clear and true. I touch your eyes that they may behold the beauty and wonder of being; that they might look with compassion and understanding. I touch your ears, that they may be attentive to wise counsel, to the cry for justice, and to listen for every authentic voice in Nature and in our world. Lastly, I touch your heart and your hands, that they may remain open to others, to love and to serve them and to work for the best motives, aspirations, and goals we humans possess.
As a flower unfolds its beauty, may the life of this child unfold… Minister hands the rose to Lucy…

Community Pledge (Would the members of the UCC please stand…. and recite these words together…..
“We shall endeavor to maintain a helpful, wholesome, and loving community for Maura, and for all our children, as we rejoice in the eternal promise their lives represent. We pledge now to these children and their parents, the loving guidance, support and care of this Unitarian-Universalist community.”

Closing words of Benediction:

A new life, infinite in her potential, blesses us. We pray for wisdom to help release that potential. May every grace be with this child, her parents, and all who love them. Remembering that those who come after us must inherit their world from us, let us dedicate ourselves to our part in the building of a more kind, just, and happy human order. So Be it, and Blessed Be!

The Dedication Service
for
Krista Tremblay and Derek Hetherington
The Lueptos-30600 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, Arizona
December 29th, 1996 4:00 p.m.

OPENING WORDS AND THE SERVICE OF DEDICATION The Reverend Peter Edward Lanzillotta, Ph.D.

In welcoming a child, we celebrate one of life’s continuing miracles, the miracle of birth. Children are our greatest human gift, treasures endowed and entrusted to us by God.
Each child is a new entity – a unique and individual being, filled with promise and potential, that requires our care and understanding. We, as the parents and family of our children, model the values and ideals that will help to mold their personality and growth.

SELECTED REFLECTION AND READING ON DEDICATION

Every human life and every baby born is precious. Krista and Derek, how will we welcome you into our world? All our flowers and all our wine cannot express how happy we are at your birth. All the caresses of our eyes and hands cannot measure the fullness of our love. We cannot hold you close enough.
We welcome you to this world of light and shade, play and work, laughter and tears, good and evil. We welcome you as one born of earth, and yet more than those elements, possessing the qualities and possibilities of the human soul.
As a part of this ceremony, we will call on your family to assist and serve you, for we are a part of your personal world, and we are responsible for guarding your freedoms, your life and opportunities. Today, we shall also recall the other children who will share your world with you, whose welfare is inseparable from your own. may each person here use this time of reaffirmation to work and create a more just and peaceful world for you both and for all the lives that are linked with yours.
2
To your parents, Dale and Rebekka, and to Hugh and Sarah, let us once more hear the wise words of the poet and mystic, Kahil Gibran, who wrote these words in his book, The Prophet.
“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, but are not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and he bends you
With his might that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness,
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves the bow that is stable.”

CHARGE TO THE PARENTS:

Dale and Rebekka, and Hugh and Sarah, from your smile, your child will learn to smile and feel accepted. From your speech, and through your use of words and ideas, his/her minds and thoughts will be formed. >From your steps, Krista and Derek will learn to walk and to follow; from your hands, to grasp and carry that they might adapt to life’s tasks.

3
Your goodness will be their pattern; your shortcomings theirs to see and avoid. Your fear or your doubt, your strength and your faith become their standards, their reality.
Therefore, Dale and Rebekka, and Hugh and Sarah, I charge you to take on the privilege and responsibility of parenthood. To care for your child in body, mind, and spirit, so that Krista and Derek might grow into full personhood, and into enlightened individuality. Do you so promise?
“WE DO”

CHARGE TO THE SPONSORS

Rebekka and Anne, as the chosen sponsors of Derek, and Sarah and Rich as the chosen sponsors of Krista- if, Sarah and Hugh, and Rebekka and Dale, are in so way unable, do you willingly accept the responsibility for Derek’s and Krista’s spiritual nurture? Will you, to the best of your ability, provide Derek and Krista with an unselfish and patient love?
“WE WILL”

THE NAMING AND THE BLESSING

The minister now names Derek Elliott Hetherington,
and Krista Anne Tremblay…

Derek and Krista; may you have a healthy body with the strength to stand against all that might threaten you, and may you have the courage and the skill to do whatever is required of you and what you most desire to do. May you have good intelligence, to learn what you need to know, and the power to pursue the truth you seek. May you be fearless and tender. May you love the beauty of the world, its flowers and trees, the mountains and flowing streams, the movement of all living things.
4
And may you know and love the music and rhythm of creation.
May you always stand on your own two feet, and walk your own paths with faith in God and in yourself. And may you know what it means to love and be loved. May you always have a zest for life.

With the life and beauty of this rose, I touch your lips, that the thoughts they express may be kind, clear and true. I touch your eyes that they may behold the beauty and wonder of being; that they might look with compassion and understanding. I touch your ears, that they may be attentive to wise council, to the cry for justice, and to listen for every authentic voice in Nature and in our world. And lastly, I touch your heart and your hands, that they may remain open to others, to love and to serve them and to work for the best motives, aspirations, and goals we humans possess.
As this flower unfolds its beauty, may the life of these children unfold…
( Minister hands the roses to Derek, Krista, and another one to Carl…)
And to Carl, I give you this rose as a reminder to continue to be a good, big brother for Krista, and to be a close cousin for Derek.

FAMILY PLEDGE (To be spoken by the other family members)
“We shall endeavor to maintain a helpful, wholesome, and loving family environment for Krista and Derek, as we rejoice in the eternal promise their lives represent. We pledge now to these children and their parents, the loving guidance, support and care of this family.”

CLOSING PRAYER

Let us Pray: New lives, infinite in their potential, bless us. We pray for wisdom to help release that potential. May every grace be with these children, their parents, and all who love them. Remembering those who come after us must inherit their world from us, let us dedicate ourselves to our part in the building of a more kind, just, and happy human order. AMEN

FAMILY PLEDGE (To be spoken by the other family members)
“We shall endeavor to maintain a helpful, wholesome, and loving family environment for Krista and Derek, as we rejoice in the eternal promise their lives represent. We pledge now to these children and their parents, the loving guidance, support and care of this family.”

FAMILY PLEDGE (To be spoken by the other family members)
“We shall endeavor to maintain a helpful, wholesome, and loving family environment for Krista and Derek, as we rejoice in the eternal promise their lives represent. We pledge now to these children and their parents, the loving guidance, support and care of this family.”

FAMILY PLEDGE (To be spoken by the other family members)
“We shall endeavor to maintain a helpful, wholesome, and loving family environment for Krista and Derek, as we rejoice in the eternal promise their lives represent. We pledge now to these children and their parents, the loving guidance, support and care of this family.”

FAMILY PLEDGE (To be spoken by the other family members)
“We shall endeavor to maintain a helpful, wholesome, and loving family environment for Krista and Derek, as we rejoice in the eternal promise their lives represent. We pledge now to these children and their parents, the loving guidance, support and care of this family.”

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