Liturgy

Service of Blessing for a child

This service is offered for families who wish to give thanks for their children and to seek Gods Blessing. The liturgy is gathered from various Christian sources and celebrates God present in all life.

It is not a baptism but recollects much of the baptism symbolism while leaving the children the option of adult baptism should they so choose.

Priest :The grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all

All….. and also with you.

Priest: God our Creator, we thank you for the wonder of new life and for the mystery of human love. We give thanks for all whose support and skill surround and sustain the beginning of life. As Jesus knew love and discipline within a human family, may this child grow in strength and wisdom. As Mary knew the joys and pains of motherhood, give these parents your sustaining grace and love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A HYMN may be sung

Parents and Godparents remain standing

Priest: Do you receive this child as a gift from God?

Parents:….We do.

Priest: Do you wish to give thanks to God and seek Gods blessing?

Parents:…..We do.

.Priest: As God parents to N will you help er/him engage with life’s challenges in ways which enable her to grow and thrive. Will you celebrate her/his creativity, encourage her/his humour and support her/him in times of struggle

Godparents ….. We will.

The pascal candle is lit and a candle is given

Priest Oh God, for your love for us warm and brooding, which has brought us to birth and opened our eyes to the wonder and beauty of creation

We give you thanks

For your love for us wild and freeing, which has awakened us to the energy of creation,

the sap which flows, the blood which pulses, the heart that sings

We give you thanks

For your love for us, compassionate and patient which has carried us through our pain, wept beside us in our sin, and walks with us in our confusion

We give you thanks

For your love for us, strong and challenging, which has called us to risk for you, asked for the best in us and shown us how to serve

We give you thanks

For our return to the earth and for our return home to God when or mortal lives are over.

We give you thanks

Oh God we come to celebrate that your Holy Spirit is present deep within us, and at the heart of all life, forgive us when we forget your gift of love made know to us in Jesus, and draw us into your presence.

Amen

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

All sit for the readings

THE SERMON

A HYMN may be sung

The priest and the families of those to be baptised gather at the baptismal font.

THE LITURGY OF BLESSING

Presentation of those to be blessed

PriestJesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Do not stop them’.

We thank God for N who has come to be blessed today. As God loves her/him unconditionally is she/he loved. We welcome them today into this family and community of faith.

I ask you all will you support her in her journey through life.

All …. We will.

Will you help her/him to live and grow within this community?

All …. We will.

Prayer over the Water

Priest: We offer thanks and praise for the life giving gift of water.

We remember at this font that Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan as a symbol of new life and that Gods Spirit came upon him and revealed him as the Son God loves. He sent his followers to baptize all who turn to him. Now, Creator God, we ask you to bless this water, that those who are blessed with it may be cleansed in the water of life; and filled with your Spirit and may know that they are loved as your children.

Rosemary twigs are used to sprinkle water on all the gathering

NAMING AND BLESSING

Priest: Name this child……

N, when you are grown you will choose your path and will come to know your life’s meaning for yourself. Now we, your family and your community Bless you in the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

(An ancient blessing)

May God Bless you and keep you,

May Gods face shine upon you

and be gracious unto you,

May Gods countenance turn towards you

and give you peace.

AMEN

The priest and those who have been blessed may return from the font. A HYMN may be sung

Prayers for the world are offered, ending with

THE LORD’S PRAYER

All Our Father who art heaven,

hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory

for ever and ever Amen.

THANKSGIVING FOR NEW LIFE

a tree may be given

Priest: Life flows forth from from God

like a tree beside the water

sometimes standing gnarled by struggles or wounded in hidden ways

sometimes showing green shoots of survival or a surprising flower of kindness

The tree of life is hard won, with birds of hope to be found in its branches

THe Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind always be at your back,

May the rain fall soft upon your gardens

and until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of her hand

Amen

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