Baptism



Sample Service For Thanksgiving and Blessing for the Gift of a Child

We are here today to give thanks for these children, with their family and friends, and to support their parents in their responsibilities with prayer and love. God became one of us in Jesus, and understands all that surrounds the arrival and upbringing of children. It is God's purpose that children should know love within the stability of their home, grow in faith in Jesus Christ, and so come at last to the eternal city where his love reigns supreme.


Thanksgiving:

The works of the Lord are great:
his mercy endures for ever.

Mary gave birth to a child and called him Jesus:
he will save his people from their sins.

He will be called the prince of Peace:
his kingdom will last for ever.

Almighty God, the creator of life, maker of heaven and earth,
we thank you for all creation, and especially for the life of ... .
Thank you for the family who will love and care for them,
and thank you for giving us the privilege of watching and helping as he/she grows.
Accept out thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen 


Other thanksgivings may be said.


The ministry of the word


Bible reading - Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to touch, but the disciples tried to discourage them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them:
"You must let the little children come to me: never stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.


The address


Blessing


The minister takes the child, and asks the parents what name they have given to the child.


The ministry of the word

As Jesus took children in his arms and blessed them, so now we ask God's blessing on ... .

..., may God the Father who created you, sent his Son to redeem you, and his Holy Spirit to dwell in you; bless you, and cause you to seek and to find and to know him through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, may ... learn to love all that is true, grow in wisdom and strength, and in due time, come to faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, and to the fullness of your grace. Amen.


Commission


A copy of one of the Gospels is presented to the parents:

Receive this book.
It is the good news of God's love.
Take it as your guide.


The minister asks the parents:
... , will you look after ... as a gift from God on trust to you for a little while, and will you love and care for them?

Parents:  We will.

 
The minister asks the godparents (supporting friends):

Will you encourage and support ... , the parents of ... , as they seem to bring him/herup, and in due course will you support ... in the growth and development of his/herunique character and personality?

Godparents:  We will.


The minister asks all the friends and family:
Will you, the relatives and friends of this family, surround them with your love and care in the years ahead?

Friends and family:  We will.


May God give you the wisdom and the grace to complete these works which you have undertaken today. 


Prayers

God our creator, thank you
for the gift of these children.
May we be patient and understanding,
ready to guide and forgive,
so that through our love,
they may come to know your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Other useful material:

Possible introductory verse of scripture:
"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a real blessing" (Psalm 127:3 - Solomon). We have children on trust to us for a little while - it's a great privilege, and an awesome responsibility.

Possible extra prayer of thanksgiving for the parents to pray:
God our Father, you have shown us your love in giving us this baby: we thank you with all our hearts. Help us to be faithful and wise parents, and to give our child a good and secure start to life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the parents:
God our Father, we thank you that in the bible there is a picture of true love: the love Christ has for his people. We pray that ... and ... may grow in love and self-giving to each other all the days of their life. Bless them with wisdom and understanding in their tasks as parents, and give them your constant love for their child/children; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer for the child:
Almighty God, look with favour on ... as they grows. Help him/her to be a happy and helpful member of his/her family, and eventually to become a responsible member of society. Surround this family with the light of your truth and the warmth of your love, so that ... may grow in grace and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer for others who will look after the child (relations, school teachers...):
God our Father, we bring before you all who have the care of ... in the years ahead. Give us wisdom for difficult decisions, patience in trying times, and the humility to admit when we have made mistakes. Help us to show the constant love and faithfulness which come from Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Register and Certificate:
We keep a formal register with the following columns: alleged date of birth, date of service, child's names, parents names, address(es), godparents (supporting friends), minister. We give a certificate which is headed "Thanksgiving and Blessing for the Gift of a Child" and has Mark 10:14 & 16 decoratively at its head, and the words "This service was not a baptism, and this certificate may need to be produced if the above becomes a candidate for baptism or confirmation" at its foot. We also write inside the Gospel which we give: "Presented to ... and ... on the occasion of Thanksgiving and Blessing for ... at St Luke's Church Eccleshill on ... , with prayers and best wishes" and this is signed by the minister