ORIGINAL CHILD DEDICATION CEREMONY
CALL TO WORSHIP:
“All of you of the heavens, all you of the air, all of you of the earth, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life,
Make her path smooth, then shall she travel beyond the four hills!”
MINISTER: This morning, I have the honor today of welcoming a new life into the fold of our caring faith community. Would the congregation please welcome the families of this child? Parents, please come forward.
Processional to the Song: Naked As We Came, Iron and Wine
Parents and family today you come before us your church community with a new life in Evie Marie.
Reading: Adapted from Kenneth L. Patton
Naked are we born, naked of body and mind and spirit, naked of knowing, dependent and helpless. For parents is the awesome privilege to be the givers and shapers of the person of growing children. Parents give to the baby the bright knowingness of its eyes. Love they give with their eyes and lips. From the smile of the father and mother the baby learns to smile in reply, and from their laughter comes the child's laughter. To their speech the child makes sounds in answer, and by imitation words, and in the use of words the child's mind is formed. From their walking the child learns to follow; from their gestures the child patterns, the movements of its hands and the inflections of its voice.
Their goodness becomes the child's goodness and their evil also is the child's. Their fear and doubt become the child's own, and also their wisdom, courage, openness, and the adventure of their beliefs.
MINISTER: CALL TO PARENTS:
TO THE MOTHER: Motherhood is the sacred and holy calling.
This is the highest of all dedications, to the creation of human nature, the husbanding of the growth of mind and love and character.
TO THE FATHER: Fatherhood is man's first vocation and his worthiest pursuit, above all the power and business of the world.
Parents, in this holy vocation of parenting, you are entrusted with the sacred joy, privilege and responsibility of guiding this child through this world with love and goodness. Do you promise to nurture this child, to understand his or her sacred worth as one of the earth’s creatures? Do you commit to guiding him or her through life’s challenges and joys, giving her wings of freedom as he or she blossoms into his or her own unique personhood?
PARENTS: WE DO
MINISTER: To the God Parents: God Parents, you have been entrusted with the unique responsibility of moral guide in the life of this child. Do you promise to offer your seeds of insight, wisdom, and knowledge on the path of this child maturation? Will you commit to being a rock in this child’s life, in times of joy and in times of unexpected need?
GOD PARENTS: WE DO
MINISTER: TO Grandparents:
Grandparents, you have a responsibility as the roots to this child's family tree. You hold the promise of her history and help to define his or her future. Do you promise to love and nurture this child as a part of your family, teaching him or her to know him or her self and her worth by the roots that run deep into your family’s history?
GRANDPARENTS: We DO.
To the community present, family, friends, and members of this church. Do you promise to help this child grow in the presence of the minds and hearts of a caring community of love, beauty, and joy? Will you help this child understand the meaning of her integrity, worth, and purpose through your eyes, as his or her religious community?
COMMUNITY: WE WILL
It is our belief that this child is born whole and precious, a new hope for this world and this community.
By this service of dedication, we commit ourselves to the nurture of this child as a part of the interconnected web of life of which we are all a part.
Are you ready to dedicate yourselves to her?
We are prepared. We dedicate our hearts and minds to this child as a child of the universe and our own caring community.
Will you strive to love and cherish him or her in times of struggle as well as gladness?
We will love and cherish her always, knowing that times of struggle are also times of growth.
We acknowledge the divine spark within each child.
May we be worthy guardians of this young life. May we build a community in which she will grow surrounded by love, embraced by beauty, and cradled in the arms of a justice loving community who also knows peace.
Parents come forward to Minister and hold baby.
Parents, please tell us the name you have chosen for this child.
Parents Reply: NAME
MINISTER: By this name people will call you and by this name you will be blessed by this community gathered today. This name is uniquely yours, and will be yours throughout your days.
Evie, there is no one just like you in this world, and we are gathered here today to let you know that you are not alone. Gathered here today are a group of caring people at this church who have dedicated themselves to your care and support. To welcome you into this church community it is our hope that you will grow in this community, as we may help you to understand your worth, integrity, and the special gifts you will bring into this world.
Today, I present you with a single rose that represents purity of beauty, understanding and truth. The rose’s unfolding brings sweet fragrance and unending beauty. I dip this rose in water to represent the freshness and clarity of a spring rain.
I dip this rose in water and touch you with this rose in three places, your forehead, your eyes, and your lips.
I touch you with this rose on your forehead that I may bless you in your pursuit of truth and knowledge in the freedom of a justice seeking community.
I touch you with this rose on your eyes, two bright candles shining a path of light in your life, that you may see all the beauty that lies in our world in art, nature and the diversity of human life.
I touch you with this rose on your lips that you may taste sweetness of freedom, that you may speak your truth in love, and that you may smile and laugh in joy.
To the child: I bless you now. May my blessings be as soft and as pure as the petals of the rose. May our blessings of be as gentle and clarifying as the waters with which I blessed you. You are a child of this community, may you walk in the glow of its love. May the light you bring be a beacon of hope for new life, leading the way for all of us in your fresh, unique beauty.
RECESSIONAL: One Grain of Sand: Pete Seeger