Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child Service

The Welcome

            The priest welcomes the people

            In the name of Jesus
            who was born to be our Saviour, Christ the Lord,
            we welcome you.
            Grace, mercy and peace be with you

            Hymn/Song

           The priest introduces the service

We are here today to give thanks for this child, 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, and come at last to the eternal city where his love reigns supreme.

Let us begin with a reading from Psalm 139 that speaks of the wonder of creation:

            For it was you Lord who formed my inward parts;

            you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

            I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

            Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

            My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,

            intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

            Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.

In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.

           (Psalm 139 verses 13-16)     

           The works of the Lord are great:

All       his mercy endures for ever.

            Mary gave birth to a child and called him Jesus:

All       he will save his people from their sins.

            He will be called the Prince of Peace:

All       his kingdom will last for ever.

            Loving God,

            you hold all things in life

            and call us into your kingdom of peace;

            help us to walk the path of your truth

            and fill our lives with gratitude and faith,

            Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All       Amen.

            Thanksgiving and Blessing

            The parents stand, the priest asks and the parents reply:

           Do you receive this child as a gift from God?

            We do

            Do you wish to give thanks to God and seek his blessing?

            We do

          

            God our creator,

            we thank you for the wonder of new life

            and for the mystery of human love.

            We thank you for all whose support and skill

            surround and sustain the beginning of life.

            We thank you that we are known to you by name

            and loved by you from all eternity.

            We thank you for Jesus Christ,

            who has opened to us the way of love.

            We praise you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

All       Blessed be God for ever.

            What name have you given this child?

            His/Her name is

            The priest says:.

            As Jesus took children in his arms and blessed them,

            so now we ask God's blessing on this child

            Heavenly Father, we praise you for his/her birth;

            surround him/her with your blessing

            that he/she may know your love,

            be protected from evil,

            and know your goodness all his/her days.

All       May he/she learn to love all that is true,

            grow in wisdom and strength

            and, in due time, come through faith and baptism

            to the fullness of your grace;

            through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

           The priest prays for the parents

            God the Father of all bless you

            and give you grace to love and care for your child.

            May God give you wisdom, patience and faith,

            help you to provide for your child's needs

            and, by your example,

            reveal the love and truth that are in Jesus Christ.

All       Amen

           The Word of God

            Bible Reading: Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of   God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

            Prayers

            We say together:

            God our creator,

            we thank you for the gift of this child,

            entrusted to our care.

            May we be patient and understanding,

            ready to guide and to forgive,

            so that through our love

            she may come to know your love;

            through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

            Amen

            The priest may say additional appropriate prayers and then our prayers conclude with The Lord’s  

            Prayer which we say together  

           The Lord’s Prayer

            Our Father, who art in heaven,

            hallowed be thy name;

            thy kingdom come;

            thy will be done;

            on earth as it is in heaven.

            Give us this day our daily bread.

            And forgive us our trespasses,

            as we forgive those who trespass against us.

            And 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.

           Presentation of a Gift

           The child is presented with a Bible Storybook and the priest says:

            Listen to these words from the New Testament

Peter said to Jesus “To whom else could we go? You alone   have the words of eternal life!” (John 6:68)

            The priest says to the parents:

On this special day of thanksgiving we give you this Bible Storybook to share with (Child‘s name). Read these words and share them with her so that as she grows you may find together the meaning of life through knowing Jesus Christ.

All       May the reading of the Bible, Guide him/her in his/her life journey

            And help him/her to know and love You,

            As You know and love him/her. Amen

Hymn/Song

            Ending

            The priest blesses the child

            The love of Christ surround you and protect you

            The words of Christ inspire you

            The peace of Christ be with you

            The joy of Christ fill you

            and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

            always be upon you

           The priest says to the parents:

            Parents, Enfold your child in your love,

            Be happy with each other,

            and the Lord be with you.

            The priest blesses the congregation saying:

            The Lord bless you and watch over you,

            the Lord make his face shine upon you

            and be gracious to you,

            the Lord look kindly on you and give you peace;

            and the blessing of God almighty,

            the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

            be with you and all those who you love

            this day and always.

All       Amen

            Let us go in peace

            Rejoicing in God’s gift of new life

All       Thanks be to God