The Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga is a religious community
A Unitarian wedding ceremony is a unique celebration of the joining of two people on their life’s journey. There is no set format but rather each ceremony is a creation by a team made up of the couple and the Lay Chaplain. The ceremony uses elements which are meaningful to those involved. The result is an honouring and celebrating of the joining of families, the commitment between two people and the blessing of whatever it is that gives meaning and substance to their lives. A couple need not be members of a Unitarian church or fellowship in order to be married in a Unitarian ceremony.
Our Lay Chaplain will meet with the couple wishing to be married to discuss the kind of service they would like to have. The Lay Chaplain will provide resources including selections of readings, vows and blessings. The couple may choose the elements they feel best express their situation or may adapt what they find to their own liking.
Each night a child is born is a holy night –
A time for singing
A time for wondering,
A time for worshipping.
– Sophia Lyon Fahs
Unitarian Universalists believe that every child brings new life and hope into the world. We set aside a special time, called simply the Ceremony of Dedication, for the community to bless the child and celebrate the blessing of this gift of life. The ceremony does not make the life of the child sacred; we believe that life is sacred inherently. When we dedicate a child we acknowledge the truth that each child’s life is sacred and hold that truth in the light of our faith.
Ceremonies of Dedication and Naming take many forms, reflecting each individual family’s beliefs and wishes.
Our Lay Chaplains will partner with you to pay tribute to the person you are honouring – personality, interests, what she or he was most proud of accomplishing. We want to help you and your family through this difficult time by creating a ceremony that will allow you to start your journey of grieving in your own best possible way.
Even in situations where a death occurred some time ago but was never formally commemorated, we can help you create a memorial service to properly recognize and celebrate your loved one’s life. We can suggest and incorporate readings and prayers from a range of religious and contemporary sources that are comforting and uplifting for you and your family. We can often deliver services in special places that are meaningful or that were special to your loved one.
We will respond quickly to your requests. Our congregation has four Lay Chaplains and, in the unusual circumstance that the date and place chosen by you is not possible for our schedules, we can help you through our Provincial, National and International networks, to find someone to serve your needs.
Whether it is a beginning of life baby welcoming or an end of life parting with a loved one or any of the steps along life’s way including graduations, weddings, or coming out celebrations we offer services that mark the rites of passage to both our members and also to the wider community.
The Unitarian community encourages an individual’s search for truth and meaning and we also honour the inherent worth and dignity of each individual and so we take pride and pleasure in being able to sit down with you to help you plan a ceremony that is unique to you and that expresses all that you would wish it to.
Services are performed by our minister or by our licensed chaplains. Lay Chaplains are members of the Unitarian Congregation who have been specially trained to perform ceremonies and they are provincially licensed wedding officiants.
An active member of the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga for 5 years, Debbi has moved into leadership roles within the Congregation. She is aSourceFire Leader, Communications Committee Leader and most joyfully a Lay Chaplain.
Debbi is a professional social worker, advocate and lobbyist with a long career partnering with marginalized women in the justice systems.
Just as passionate about beauty and creativity, she is also a proud mother of adult children and a former professional designer.
Debbi believes that the milestone experiences of life should be transcendent and reflect all of who we are in the full glory of our diversity and uniqueness. She is a life long strong ally in the LGBT and No More Silence equality rights movements.
Debbi is an experienced creator of earth based life affirming rituals and celebrations.
I have been attending UCM since 1999. I have long been a member of the Social Responsibility Committee and the Worship committee and I am also a former member of the UCM Board. I have acted as a greeter, washed dishes in the kitchen and I have baked gluten free goodies for all kinds of events at UCM.
A dedicated Unitarian, I chose to become a Lay Chaplain to express my commitment to our seven principles beyond the confines of our congregation.
At my age I am going to memorials more often. I have noticed that the Unitarian ones are among the best. I recognize the need to mark other significant events in our lives. I believe that ceremonies such as weddings, child dedications and memorials can be beautiful, meaningful and spiritual whatever one’s beliefs or background. As a lay chaplain, I want to work with people to design the ceremony that suits their needs, not my own.
Our Unitarian Universalist principles tell us that there should be justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and that all people have inherent worth and dignity. If this is so, are not all of us entitled to the ceremonies and rituals that reflect our unique nature?
Judy Benger, Lay Chaplain
The Unitarian Great Hall and other facilities can be booked for weddings, community meetings, medium sized events, concerts, and private events.
Our space is also available to groups for summer camps and workshops, with various breakout spaces available.
Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga
84 South Service Road