Service 3.
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Welcome Page
Service 1
Service 2.
Service 3.
Introductory Leaflet.
Introducing Thanksgivings.
Church of Scotland
Thanksgiving Certificate.


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 additional resources
Thanksgiving and
for the Gift of a Child

The 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
reigns supreme.


CW p339.

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 Jesus:
he will save his people from their sins.

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

CW p339.

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.

Adapted from ASB #1 (p213) and Grove Booklet.
Other thanksgivings may be said.
ASB #2 (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.

The address



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

CW foot of p340.
As Jesus took children in his arms and blessed them, so now we ask God's blessing on ... .
CW p341.
..., 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.
Grove Booklet.

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.

CW p341 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.

CW p341. 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.

CW p341 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 ahead?

Friends and family: We will.

CW p341 adapted.
May God give you the wisdom and the grace to complete these works which you have undertaken today.

Prayers (the Lord's Prayer is on p5).

I usually pray the Lord's Prayer together, three solo prayers (see below), and the final prayer together. ASB #10-12 are also suitable.

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.

CW p342.


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:

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 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.

To view two other services, click here or here click here

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