(Serving the Amicalola Falls area in the North Georgia Mountains)
This ceremony Christening has each part separated out for you.
Dear Friends, we have come here today for the purpose of christening this child. We seek to remember today, and in the days to come, that this child is first and in truth, God’s child.
So let us take a moment now to close our eyes and become aware of the presence, the power and the activity of God here within each one of us – as life, love and joy.
Father-Mother-God, we give thanks for the gift of your loving presence within us and surrounding us. We know that it is in you that we live, move and have our being. For this truth, and for our growing awareness of this truth, we are grateful. Amen
(This part of the Ceremony Christening # 2 is British in origin.)
The ritual of Baptism is ancient in origin, predating even the earliest Christian traditions. Over the centuries, the form in which the rite is administered and the interpretation of its meaning have undergone many changes, and even today it is practiced in many different forms. Yet, underlying all the differences is a common foundation, and that is the abiding sense that, somehow, we are more than simply physical beings circumscribed by a strictly physical origin, nature and purpose.
The process of becoming fully aware of this higher identity, greater potential, and deeper purpose is described from many different angles in the Gospels. In Mark 10:13-16, we read: “And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come in to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And the took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.”
By his words and actions, Jesus is reminding us of something we all really do know on a deep, intuitive level. But sometimes, with our busy adult routines, our career plans, our social activities, our intellectual concerns, we forget. And that is why each time a child is born, we have been privileged to witness a miracle. We have received a supreme gift and we have been entrusted with a deeper responsibility.
Parent’s names: This beautiful child who has already brought such joy into your lives, comes to you from God, not as a gift, but bearing a gift. The gift he/she bears is God’s own spirit within him/her. The truth is that there is only one source of everything good, true and beautiful. As you watch this child grow and develop, as his/her muscles become strong and his/her movements become coordinated, if you will remember his/her true origin, you will realize that what you are really seeing is God’s life – divine strength, divine balance, divine grace – in action. Look at him/her in this attitude and you will receive the gift he/she brings you, for the gifts within you will also be stirred into action. The spirit of awe and enthusiasm with which he/she will explore the world will enable him/her to draw on inner resources we often forget in adulthood, and which then become dormant. Involve yourself in her growth and you will grow too.
(This is the actual christening part of the Ceremony Christening # 2)
To parents: “What have you named this child? Please speak the name out loud together.” Parents answer with name.
(Officiant turns to small bowl of water and dips fingers in it. Turning to child, gently place damp fingers on child’s forehead.)
Child’s name, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. May your life be surrounded with the love of all the people who welcome you here today.
Let us pray. Parent’s names, we charge you today to bring up child’s name in a loving manner that helps him/her to be the best he/she can be. We pray that he/she will become a contributing member of society and know health, happiness and prosperity in body, mind and spirit. Help him/her to know the love of God through your example and through his/her own consciousness as he/she continues into adulthood. And so it is. Amen.
Any of the parts of this Ceremony Christening can be mixed and matched with any of the parts of any other ceremony listed in these pages.