Life is often full of precious moments and gifts. None is as important as bringing a life into the world and having the gift of sharing the journey of discovery, pain, and joy with that life.
As each life is undoubtedly filled with meaning and purpose, parents dream in hopeful optimism that their child will have a fulfilling and successful life. What better way to start the journey than with a child dedication?
Dedications can be rituals designed for public observance of a child’s consecration to family, religious community, faith tradition, and/or to one’s God. Dedication ceremonies also provide parents the opportunity to symbolize their commitment to the nurturing, guidance, and upbringing of their child through ceremony.
From culture to culture, nearly every society has special ceremonies, rites, rituals, and traditions, which serve to celebrate and symbolize the confirmation or transitioning from child to adult. In Jewish culture, there is the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. In many European countries, there is a coming of age celebration called "The Twenty First" and is held on a young adult's 21st birthday. In Korea, the Confucian coming-of-age ceremony is called Gwallye and is held for both boys and girls aged 15 to 20. In Japan, there is a national coming of age holiday observed on the second Monday in January for individuals who will have their 20th birthday that year.
In the U.S., there is a new tradition that is taking root; it is the 'binding and cutting of ties' ceremony to send young adults out into the world. This ceremony is a celebration of a person's successful passage into adulthood. Usually, this ceremony is performed when a youth moves out of the family home or off to college. The 'cutting of strings' symbolizes the 'letting go' of parental authority and transferring of responsibility to the now independent young adult.
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