A Liturgy for Baptism

Wording is for more than one child

The Presentation

 

Dear Family and Friends, let us gather around for this celebration of Baptism.

 

Parents and God-Parents, who are you presenting for baptism?

Parents and Godparents:  We present _________________ to be baptized.

 

Trusting in God as the source of all life and love, we gather to celebrate, through baptism, these young lives.  In this sacrament, we affirm the unique and precious being of ___________ and ask God’s blessing on them and on their family and friends as they love and care for them. We also trust in the power of forgiveness to help ______________ move through times of failure and discouragement and to keep them always alive to hope and new possibility.

 

The Readings

 

The first reading is about the special place of each person in God’s love.  People sometimes say, when talking about a time before someone was even conceived, that he or she was “no more than a gleam in the parents’ eyes”.  We find that same way of thinking, not literally, but as a metaphor about how God holds us in love, in this passage from Psalm 139:

 

1  Lord, you have searched me out and known me;

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

 

2  You trace my journeys and my resting places

and are acquainted with all my ways.

 

12 For you yourself created my inmost parts;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 

13 I will thank you because I am marvelously made;

your works are wonderful, and I know it well.

 

14 My body was not hidden from you,

while I was being made in secret

and woven in the depths of the earth.

 

15  Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;

all of them were written in your book;

they were fashioned day by day,

when as yet there was none of them.

 

“On Children”  A reading from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

 

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves the bow that is stable.

 

 

The Promises of Parents and Godparents

 

Parents and Godparents, will you be responsible for seeing that ______________ are brought up in the Christian faith, loving and serving their neighbors and understanding Jesus as a guide to how God would have us live?

 

Parents and Godparents:  We will.

 

Will you, by your love and prayers and example, help ____________________ in this growth and understanding?

 

Parents and Godparents:  We will.

 

Will you guard against whatever powers of evil may sometimes threaten _________________ and trust in God’s goodness and love to protect and keep them safe?

 

Parents and Godparents:  We will. 

 

Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these parents and godparents in their promises?

 

People:  We will.

 

Prayers

 

God our Creator, we thank you for the gift of ______________ entrusted to their parents’ care. May they be patient and understanding parents, ready to guide and to forgive.  Through their love, may their children know your love.  May they learn to love your world and all your people.  Amen

 

We give thanks for the gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life. Now sanctify this water to symbolize new life, even out of times of death, and freedom from sin, and the mysterious deeps of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

The Baptism

 

________________, I baptize you in the name of God, and in the name of Jesus and in the name of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

__________________, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as God’s child for ever.  Amen.

 

Gracious God, by the symbols of water and oil and through the Holy Spirit, we have affirmed and claimed your love for ________________.   Sustain them in your spirit.  Give them inquiring and discerning hearts, the courage to will and to persevere, spirits to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.  Amen  

 

Let us welcome our now baptized __________________, these precious new members of our family and community of friends.

Seasons & Special Events: Baptism. Texts: Psalms. Rituals: Baptism. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies.

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