Church of Scotland
|The follow is an example of the
Thanksgiving Service regularly used at St Luke's
Eccleshill. It shows the source of the material and gives
for the Gift of a Child
title makes the centrality of the "blessing" explicit.
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
See below for a possible scripture verse to
use in addition or instead.
The works of the Lord are great:
his mercy endures for ever.
Mary gave birth to a child and called him
he will save his people from their sins.
He will be called the prince of Peace:
his kingdom will last for ever.
The Grove Booklet had some alternative
responses which I thought were better than these. The ASB's
responses (#3) are too long and complicated.
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 him/her,
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.
from ASB #1 (p213) and Grove Booklet.
|Other thanksgivings may be
(p213) is suitable, or see below.
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.
CW doesn't print a reading, but in view of
CW p341 (top of the page) this reading is crucial to why the
service exists at all, and therefore deserves more than being
just one of a number of options.
|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
adapted. The beginning is tidied, and the reference to baptism
removed as we are justified by grace through faith alone.
The blessing of the parents is omitted as this
isn't part of what Jesus did, and it falls more naturally into
the prayers later on.
|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.
We also keep a register and give a certificate: see below.
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 him/her?
Parents: We will.
|The minister asks the
godparents (supporting friends):
Will you encourage and support ... , the
parents of ... , as they seem to bring him/her up, and in
due course will you support ... in the growth and development of
his/her unique character and personality?
Godparents: We will.
expanded (in CW the supporting friends only support the parents,
not the child!).
|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
Friends and family: We will.
|May God give you the wisdom and
the grace to complete these works which you have undertaken
Prayers (the Lord's Prayer is on p5).
usually pray the Lord's Prayer together, three solo prayers (see
below), and the final prayer together. ASB #10-12 are also
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.
Prayers after the Lord's Prayer before the final
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 he/she 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
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.
|To view two other services, click
here or here click here