Since the earliest days of human communities, the birth of children has been celebrated by parents, families and friends. In religious communities, this usually takes the form of a ceremony that bestows a name upon the child and that also recognizes the child’s place in the community. Unitarians are not bound by religious rules and customs and can devise a ceremony to suit the individual wishes of the parents and family of the child. This is sometimes called a Naming Ceremony or Welcome.
Anyone is welcome to ask for a Unitarian celebrant to devise a ceremony for their child, whatever their religious, cultural and racial background. The parents will not be asked to affirm anything they do not believe, nor be compelled to join a Unitarian congregation. No pressure will be placed on them to explain their lifestyle of home life.
The form or content of the ceremony will depend on discussions between the child’s parents or guardians and the celebrant, but will be determined by the circumstances of the situation. The result will be a ceremony based on the integrity of all involved, respecting the needs of the child and family. It may or may not include the waters of baptism. There may also be the giving of a flower as a symbol of the growth, beauty and fragrance of life. There may be readings and prayers drawn from various sources; the result will be something unique to the child.
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