Age of Reason Ceremony

UUI and many other UU churches have a tradition of celebrating various milestone ceremonies throughout the growing up years of our children. After a Child Dedication Ceremony, which is typically for infants and toddlers, but can be done for older children as well, the next milestone at UUI is Age of Reason.

The 2019 Age of Reason ceremony at UUI is scheduled for Sunday, November 17.

At UUI this ceremony is traditionally done with children who are in first grade, including homeschool and unschool equivalent-aged children.

At this ceremony our Director of Ministry, Jamie Hinson-Rieger, will call the child’s grownups (parents/grandparents/guardians) and the child forward.

The grown up will then present their child with a book for them to have, along with an explanation of why that book was chosen.

Parents typically chose a book that is either special to them or has a message they particularly want their child to learn.

If speaking in public makes you uncomfortable, Jamie can read a message you have written.

This ceremony is part of the UU tradition because of two things that UUs have always celebrated: reason and education.

The age of "seven plus or minus one" is the age at which many child developmental experts say children experience a notable surge in their ability to reason, to discern truth from fantasy, and to guide their own actions according to a newly developing sense of moral conscience.

UUs believe that a big part of religious education is helping the child develop these new faculties. Books (education) are one of the tools by which we do this.

Books also help develop a child's imagination and sense of empathy, by seeing the world as it could be (or seeing fantastic worlds that could never be) and by seeing the world through the eyes of others.

In general, books have always had a very important role in UU history by bringing fresh new ideas to people who thought critically about religion and philosophy and the social issues of their day, and who blended those new ideas into our tradition. Just as one example, it was Rachel Carson, a Unitarian Universalist, who wrote Silent Spring, which practically started the modern environmental movement overnight.

At our milestone ceremonies, children sometimes choose to wear something that's special to them. Families are welcome to invite extended family or family friends.

If your family is interested in participating, please contact Susanne Hinson-Rieger, our Director of Lifespan Religious Education at or 317-418-1679.