Rites of Passage

Unitarian Universalists have their own rites of passage. These rites of passage may be very different within each congregation. Our congregation regularly facilitates Child Dedication, Coming of Age, and Bridging ceremonies.

Child Dedication —
Most Unitarian Universalist congregations have child dedication services for infants, young adopted children, or young children whose families have recently joined the congregation. We can dedicate children at any age. The parents bring the child to the front of the sanctuary at a designated time in a regular Sunday worship service, and the minister presides over the ceremony.  The dedication ceremony is generally a celebration of the blessing of new life, an expression of the parents’ hopes for their child, and a call to the parents and the congregation’s members to lead and nurture the child’s spiritual life as it grows. One of the special elements of the ceremony is that when parents bring their children before our congregation to be dedicated, we give the babies an unopened  rose, symbolizing the beauty and newness of their lives and we remove from the rose all the thorns that might cause pain. For further information about Child Dedication please contact our Minister minister@uuflb.org.

Coming of Age — 
Coming of Age Ceremonies (COA), marking the transition from childhood to young adult, are as old as history. They have included confirmations, vision quests, and bar and bat mitzvahs, all to help youth learn about themselves and
prepare for adulthood. Our Religious Exploration program marks this transition with a two year Coming of Age program which emphasize self-reflection, confidence building, service to the fellowship and community, and a culminating
affirmation ceremony where students read their statement of faith. During this two year program, students usually participate in a Heritage Trip to Boston, Massachusetts to visit the UUA and learn more about our UU history. 
Coming of Age Programs are generally started in the middle school years as part of our Junior Youth group program. Our next Coming of Age program will be offered over the two years (2013/2014 and 2014-2015)
with a culminating service in May 2015.   

Bridging —
This is the rite of passage, held during a Spring congregational Sunday service, in the youths’ 12th grade year. Bridging marks the transition from being a teen to young adulthood The Bridging ceremony recognizes, honors, and celebrates the youth who have, in many cases, been in our Religious Exploration program for many years and now are moving on. We also give an unopened rose to the youth, but this time the thorns have not been removed which represents life with all of its joy but also difficulties. At this time bridging youth also address the congregation with their self-reflection of their years with the congregation and what they will take with them as they go forth.  For further information about Bridging please contact Jennifer Rehbein, DRE.