Apr 21, 2013
The homily was delivered on Sunday, April 21, 2013, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister.
It is considered by many to be one of the best Sundays of the year. Our Coming of Age service includes powerful, personal expressions of the beliefs of our ninth graders. It takes a lot of thought, courage, and self-confidence for these teens to share their core beliefs with the rest of the congregation.
You may recall that at All Souls, during an infant or child dedication service, the minister welcomes infants and children into the fellowship of all good souls and dedicates them into the service of righteousness and love. The parents pledge that when their child reaches the age of discretion, they will fulfill their obligation as parents to impart to their child the meaning and importance of the hour. The congregation then stands and pledges their support to nurture, care for, and help raise the child. At the end of the ceremony the minister hands each infant or child a flower.
In the Spring of each year we give a flower to each youth who has completed our ninth grade Coming of Age class, and invite them before the congregation to recognize they have now reached the age of discretion. In our tradition, this service can be compared to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the Jewish community or Confirmation for Christians. It means a great deal to the youth, to their parents, and to the life of our church community that we share this service to honor and welcome the next generation. It is these ceremonies and rites of passage that help us connect with one another across the generations, and with the heritage of all souls across the expanse of time.
All Souls Church Website: