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Saturday, May 28, 2022

A ULC Minister Christens a Child

As I mentioned in another post, I've been investigating the officiant market in New Jersey, as I'm looking to start offering my services as a Humanist Celebrant. This isn't about making money, but rather having an outlet for my inclination to ministry. Among the many officiants available in New Jersey are quite a few who were ordained by the Universal Life Church. That's not surprising, since the various churches operating under that brand (the original, the ULC Seminary, the ULC Monastery, and others) provide ordination for free online. If you want or need paperwork, there's a fee involved but it isn't outrageous. With a very low bar to entry it only makes sense that so many officiants would be depending on them for endorsement. What surprised me, though, was a ULC minister offering baptism.
There must be a whole back story there, but I've decided not to go poking around for it. Most celebrants focus on weddings, although funerals are in the mix as well. I've heard of baby naming or child welcoming ceremonies as well. While in theory a baptism is entirely possible, I've just never actually heard of a ULC minister performing one. My guess here is that a family wanted to have a christening for their child (or children?) without involving a church. Someone who isn't affiliated with a parish might find it difficult to obtain such a sacrament without either having to feign participation for a while beforehand, going through some preparation with a clergy person, or both. 

As a Humanist celebrant I certainly won't be doing any christening or baptizing, but the aforementioned baby naming or child welcoming options exist. If you're interested in that or need someone to officiate your wedding in New Jersey, contact me