Congratualtions you're parents!
For most of us wher we become parents there is a sense of wonder. How incredible is it that a child has been conceived, developed within the womb and been born? What an amazing creative process! There is also a growing realisation of responsibility and even feelings of a need for help in all of this!
If you are reading this it may well be because you recognise a desire to express thanks to God and to gather with family and friends to celebrate this wonderful gift.
Perhaps you want to formally name your child in the community of friends and family. Alternatively you may be part of our community already but have come from a church tradition that does not baptise infants and are wondering about alternatives. In both cases you may be aware of seeking God's help as parents.
What is a thanksgiving for a child service?
This short service takes place within a wider service of communion on a Sunday with the church community's prayers and support. At the beginning of the service we state it clearly.
We have come together to celebrate God's gift of a child. To thank Him for His Goodness and pray for (parents) in their roles as parents.
As part of this service we formally welcome the child recognising them by name. The minister then has the privilege of praying a blessing over the child.
'(Name) may God be gracious to you and bless you.
May the Lord lead you to know and love Him,
Experiencing the fullness of life that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We then pray for the parents with an assumption that there is a desire to seek God in an ongoing way for His guidance with support from friends, family and the church community.
Parents are then invited to pray directly themselves the following prayer. This is not mandatory!
Thank you for entrusting (name) to our care.
Give us calm strength and patient wisdom
As we teach and lead him/her in your way.
May s/he always be sure of our love
And grow up to know your love
Trusting in Jesus Christ your Son.
There are some additional prayers including the Our Father and then a specific and final blessing from the minister upon the family. We then continue towards communion... and share cake and hospitality welcome after the service!
As you can see it is clearly Christian in intent and purpose. As with baptism if you are new to church and exploring faith then we would love to support you in that. Our Alpha courses are the most straightforward way to do this.