Rites of Passage

Child Dedications

            A Child Dedication is a ceremony that can be part of a regular worship service or a separate service for just family and friends.  It incorporates a Naming (this is symbolically, at least, the first time that the parents declare the name of the child before a gathered community and in the presence of that which we hold to be Holy), a commitment of the parents, God Parents or Sponsors (if present) and the community to nurture, guide and respect the child. It ends with a blessing of the child. 

            Often it is offered shortly after birth or within the first few years of life, but can be given to an older child or, with modifications, for an adult.


            We welcome you to consider the celebration of your marriage at the Unitarian Congregation of Mendon and Uxbridge  Our services are available to both members and non-members and our minister will conduct services at a residence or other special place. We are pleased to work with couples from any faith or ethnic tradition or traditions and same or opposite genders to provide a meaningful service.

             We take marriage very seriously.  While we are willing to work with any couple, the final decision of whether or not to conduct the service remains with the minister.  Generally we will not perform any service which appears to be only a legal sham, one in which there seems a likelihood of domestic violence or abuse, or when one or both partners do not understand the seriousness and nature of a married relationship.  While it is not often necessary, before agreeing to perform a marriage ceremony, the minister may require successful completion of marriage/relationship counseling on one or more issues.

              In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, a wedding service is a covenantal, rather than sacramental, event.  In a rite or sacrament marriage, it is believed that the words or symbols used by a priest or minister unite the couple in marriage.  In a covenantal marriage it is the mutual promise spoken between two people in which they pledge their love and fidelity that forms the union.  The role of the minister is to assist and guide them as they make the commitment and as witness to the covenant.  The minister affirms the blessing of both the church community and the State.

              Since it is the “ownership” of the covenant by the couple that seals the union, it is especially important that the words spoken clearly reflect the hopes and ideals that they affirm.  They must be confident and comfortable with the words they speak.  

Funeral and Memorial Services

              Our understanding is that a funeral is a time to acknowledge the pain of loss and offer comfort, to honor the person who has died, and provide an opportunity to remember good times and forgive those which give us pain, as well as acknowledge those things we would have done or said.

              Our minister is willing and prepared to assist in preparing and conducting funeral or memorial services, at the Church, a funeral home, cemetery or other location to which the family feels a strong connection. We are happy to work with you to structure a service which reflects the beliefs of the deceased and/or family.  This may include readings from the Bible or of other texts and/or poetry or prose. It can also include music or song. Because we believe that an important part of the service is remembering and honoring a life that was interwoven with our own, the “eulogy” is an important part of the service and may include words by family members, if desired, as well as by the minister.

              Usually this is near the time of death, however, if closure did not occur for some or all of the friends and/or family it can be conducted much later.

              I am also available to talk and/or provide counsel following the funeral.


Page last updated: 3/10/2018



• 13 Maple St, Mendon, MA 01756 • 508.473.8681 •