Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage help us to mark the important milestones in our lives. Unitarian Universalists honor several rites of passage throughout the course of one’s life.
Child Dedications are ceremonies of commitment among adult caregivers, a child or children, and a congregation. Families work with the minister to craft a service that, grounded in Unitarian and Universalist tradition, reflects the family’s cultural and religious identity. Child Dedications typically include
- A blessing for the life of the child
- An expression of the parents’ and other caregivers (e.g. grandparents, or godparents) hopes and dreams for the child.
- A promise from the congregation to support the child in their development and faith formation
Coming of Age offers opportunities for deeper exploration among UU youth in early adolescence. Coming of Age programs transition children from teacher-guided curriculum to youth-guided exploration supported by advisors. Most programs pair each young person with an adult mentor who can help to guide their learning and development throughout the program. They prepare young people to take more responsibility for guiding their own faith journey. Coming of Age programs, typically year-long, include an exploration of topics including
- Unitarian and Universalist history and traditions
- Exploration of different theological perspectives and world religious practices
- Learning about congregational leadership
- Invitation to civic engagement
Coming of Age usually culminates with youth presenting a Credo statement that articulates their evolving beliefs.
The Bridging ceremony marks the transition of young people from youth to young adulthood. Typically, bridging ceremonies occur in the spring as high school youth (or home schooled equivalent) are preparing to graduate high school. Bridging ceremonies celebrate a youth’s accomplishments and offer blessings for their future endeavors. Bridging ceremonies remind youth of the congregation’s continuing commitment to their growth and faith formation.
Wedding and Commitment ceremonies are an opportunity to celebrate a couple’s decision to join their lives together. Unitarian Universalists celebrate a diversity of theological perspectives and religious traditions. Couples work with the minister to create a service that reflects their unique beliefs and journey. Ceremonies can take place in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland Sanctuary, outdoors, or offsite.
Memorial Services mark the end of a life in community. Families and loved-ones work with the minister to create a service that honors the life of their beloved, and creates an opportunity for family and friends to grieve together.
Serving the Wider Community. . .
UUCC and its minister, Rev. Randy Partain, extend hospitality to the larger community for weddings, memorial services and child dedications. In so doing, we continue the long tradition of Unitarian Universalist congregations that have drawn those with mixed faith families – or no religious affiliation – to our sanctuaries and ceremonies. People come to us for many reasons
- we are open and flexible about the design of ceremonies
- membership in our congregation is not required
- ceremonies may take place “off-site,” in parks, private homes, and other venues
- we are a “Welcoming Congregation” and perform weddings for LGBTQI Families
There is no single “right” way to honor these important transitions in life. Our faith places a high value on dignity in human relationships, which is reflected in each individual ceremony.
For more information about child dedications, weddings, and memorial services, please contact our minister, Rev. Randy Partain.