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Congregation Unitarian Universalist

Welcoming Words, Readings, and Poems to Celebrate
and
Dedicate a New Life

En Español

    Prelude and Opening Music:  Let There be Peace on Earth

      Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me.
        Let there be peace on earth, The peace that was meant to be.
          For Earth is our mother. Family all are we.
            Let me walk with my neighbor, In perfect harmony.
      Let peace begin with me, Let this be the moment now.
        With every step we take, Let this be our solemn vow.
          To take each moment And live each moment With peace eternally.
            Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me.

    OPENING WORDS

      Our children will live in the world we leave them. They will live with the problems we have not yet handled. We can not tell them how to live in that future. But they are learning from us right now. What values, what passwords do we as a spiritual community need to transmit to them, that will give them the tools they will need? In our community we are called to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We hold that each is a unique individual, precious in his or her own right, entitled to be received by loving arms and to be guided with sympathy, kindness and respect. We take it as a duty incumbent on us all to provide that love, care and support so that our children may grow to be confident in self, joined to a larger humanity and loving of life.

    Lighting the Chalice:

      Out of the infinite our children come to us, a miracle of incarnation. Out of the mystery beyond knowing, into the here and now, our children are born to us. With stardust in their hair, their hearts beating out the seasons of eternity, with a shining in their eyes like sunlight they come. It is our duty to welcome them. From time immemorial, men and women have assembled with their families and friends to give thanks for the gift of life in their children. Once again, we acknowledge the source of life from which all things come, and to rejoice in the hope and promise of these young lives before us.

    PRAYER:    Give us the spirit of a child
      Give us the child who lives within:
        The child who Trusts
          The child who Imagines,
            The child who Sings.
              The child who receives without reservation,
                The child who gives without judgment.
                  Give us a the child's eyes, that we may receive the beauty and freshness of this day like a sunrise;
                    Give us a child's ears, that we may hear the music of mythical times;
                      Give us a child's heart, that we may be filled with wonder and delight;
                        Give us the child's faith, that we may be cured of our cynicism;
                          Give us the spirit of a child, who is not afraid to need; who is not afraid to love.

    First Reading:

    For the gift of childhood, whose innocence and laughter keep the world young, we all rejoice and give thanks. May this precious life, which we have accepted into our community of ideals and friendship, receive abundantly the blessings of health, love, knowledge, and wisdom, and in its turn give back richly to the common heritage that endures from generation to generation.

    THE NAMING OF THE CHILD

      What are the names of these children?

      [Parents name children and minister repeats the names .]

      We welcome you into the world, and affirm our commitment to you. By your worth, may generations be blessed. May your names generate love and respect in years to come.

    THE COVENANTS OF CHILDREARING In this ceremony of dedication, we as parents, friends and members of this congregation pledge ourselves to the growth and spiritual nurturing of these children.

      Parents, in bringing your child to be celebrated and welcomed into this congregation, you acknowledge the need for loving care, and your determination to guide him/her with understanding and commitment. Your affection and devotion will support him/her for many years. Do you promise, to the best of your ability, by your example, your love, and your wisdom, to lead this child in the way of goodness, beauty, justice and truth?

      Parents: We do.

      Will Godparents please step forward.

      [Names of godparents] __________________, you have been selected by the parents to play a very important role in this child's life. They have asked you to be a godparent. These parents see in you a special quality, sensitivity, compassion and understanding that they wish for you to share with their child. Do you promise to support these parents in raising this child; showering him/her with your love, wisdom and affection; leading them, by your example, in the way of goodness, beauty, justice and truth?

      Godparents: We do.

      Will the children of the congregation please rise.

      Children and youth of this congregation, these parents have brought their children to be dedicated here today. As these children begin their lives and grow among us, they soon will take their place with you in the activities of this congregation. Will you welcome them and help them to find their way. Will you do your best help them understand that, like you, they are precious people of inherent worth and dignity? If so, say "We will."

      Children: We will.

      Will the entire congregation now rise.

      Will you, members and friends of the Congregation of Unitarian Universalists of Puerto Rico, rejoice with these parents in the birth of their child? Will you take upon yourselves the sacred privilege and responsibility of nurturing their character and spirit, pledging to them and to their parents the love and care of this congregation.

      The people answer: We will.

    PRAYER: (Followed by a moment of silent meditation)

      Sacred Source of all life and source of these new lives in our midst. We are in wonder at the miracle of birth and we are overjoyed with gratitude for the precious lives of these children. Grant to these parents, and to all those who surround these families, the wisdom and courage and strength to lead these children in the journey of their lives. May this congregation be for them be a firm root, a circle of love, and a source of vision. Amen

    THE BLESSING OF ALL THE CHILDREN

      The parents of these children have come today with a special blessing for their children.

      [parents will speak their blessings]

    ACT OF DEDICATION BY THE MINISTER

      To dedicate these children we make use of two elements: a budding flower, symbol of the unfolding life before us, in all its strength, its grace, its possibility; and water, symbol of purity and freshness, the source from which all life springs, reminding us that while we today embrace these children within our community they are already part of the wholeness of the world.

      And now, ______, please tell us your child's full name. May I hold him/her? ____________, with a flower and water, ancient symbols of purity and beauty, I touch your brow, your lips and your hands, to dedicate your thoughts, your speech and your deeds to that which is noble and beautiful and true.

      May your heart always know love, your mind search for Truth and Beauty, your eyes always seek justice; May your hands find labor which fulfills you, your body carry you far, and your spirit forever seek the mountain top.

      .
    Hymn: #409 (STLT)  Sleep, My Child

      Sleep, my child and peace attend you , all through the night.
      I who love you shall be near you, all through the night.
      Soft the drowsy hours are creeping hill and vale in slumber sleeping ,
      I my loving vigil keeping, all through the night.

      Mother, I can feel you near me, all through the night.
      Father, I know you can hear me, all through the night.
      And when I am your age nearly, still I remember clearly,
      How you sang and held me dearly, all through the night.

      While the moon her watch is keeping, all through the night.
      While one-half the world is sleeping ,all through the night.
      Even while the sun comes stealing, visions of the day revealing,
      Breathes a pure and holy feeling,all through the night.

    PRESENTATION OF FLOWER

      The gardens of the world are full of many flowers, each different, each beautiful, each unique. With this flower...

      We touch your feet and promise to teach you that you should stand against injustice.

      We touch your hands and promise to help you reach and grasp great wisdom.

      We touch you ears and hope that you might hear music even in the sacred silence.

      We touch your eyes opening them that you can see beauty in every living thing.

      We touch your lips that you may speak the truth

      Most importantly we touch your heart that you might know love and give love: abundantly, openly and courageously.

      May this flower remind us all that our children are like these flowers. Each is different, each is beautiful, each is unique.

      Flower is presented to the parents.


    EXTINGUISHING THE CHALICE

      We extinguish this flame but not the light of truth, the warmth of community, or the fire of commitment. These we carry in our hearts until we are together again.

    CLOSING

    When a child comes into a family, we pause in reverence for the miracle of birth and the gift of life. From time immemorial, parents have gathered in places of worship with families and friends to rejoice in their children and welcome them into the larger community of faith. And so we have today.

    The gift of a child's life is given to the parents, but not only to the parents. It is a gift as well to the child's circle of family and friends, some of whom are happily represented here today, and also to the child's religious community here gathered. This joyful gift is also, of course, a sacred responsibility.

    We celebrate today both the joy and the responsibility that is ours when we accept the gift that is the life of a young child and we dedicate ourselves today to giving love in return.

      And so dear children, families and friends
      Deep peace of the running wave to you, that is joy
      Deep peace of the flowing air to you, that is love
      Deep peace of the quiet earth to you, that is health.
      Deep peace of the infinite peace to you,
      Now our service is ended.
      Go in peace until we meet again.

    *Hymn:    Go now in Peace     

      Go now in Peace, Go now in Peace,
        May the Love of God surround you
          Everywhere, everywhere, You may go

    How Children can Solve The world Language Problem

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