Some of our spiritual ancestors in Poland gave up the idea of infant Baptism 400 years ago, as they did not count a child as having been born with a sin that needed to be washed away. But they did recognize the need to welcome children with ceremony.
Over the centuries, the idea of a Dedication Ceremony, and now a Naming Ceremony, developed. Originally, the focus of the ceremony was on the parents…they “dedicated” their lives to bringing up the child in a good Christian home so that when the child was older, she or he might choose Baptism. But in time, as the idea of Baptism itself lost favor with Unitarians and Universalists, the focus shifted more to the child, and to the naming and welcoming of the infant into the common life and family.
For members of the congregation, this ceremony will ordinarily take place in one of three Sunday Celebrations during the year, the last Sunday in September, the Sunday before Christmas, and Mother’s Day, the Second Sunday in May. The ceremony may also take place at the home, or be held in the Worship Center at a more private time.
Here in Columbus, the ceremony involves Seven Blessings–the blessings of the four elements, and the three names usually given a child. These last three the celebrant interprets with the help of the parents.
There is no fee for this ceremony for members. Only private ceremonies are available to non-members, after consultation with one of the ministers.