Baptism2

CELEBRATING BELONGING OR THE CELEBRATION OF BAPTISM

Presentation
v2  (N) and (N)
have come today to present their daughter/son for baptism.

I also present (N) who is glad to be welcoming
a new sister/brother into the family
and (N) and (N)
who are supporting the family in love.

The Narrative
v2  Hear these words from the stories of our faith:
People brought little children to Jesus,
for him to lay his hand on them and say a prayer.

The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said:
‘Let the little children alone, 
and do not stop them coming to me,
for it is to such as these that the reign of God belongs.'

Then he laid his hands on them...

v1  Baptism is the church's way
of celebrating and naming the grace of God
living in everyone of God's children. 

It is the way we initiate new members
into the life of the universal community of faith.

And it marks the entry point
into the life-time pilgrimage of following in the Way of Jesus.

The Request
(N) and (N)
by what name is your child to be known?
Par.
(NN).

How did you come to decide on these names?
Par. (Response/Story).

Little one, born to love,
surrounded by love,
child of the universe,
one with all that lives,
we now name you (NN).

Take this name and make it your own.
Live in freedom and fullness
as you travel your journey of life.

And what do you ask for (NN)?
Par.
We ask that s/he be baptised
into the faith and family of God’s love.

(NN), we welcome you 
to this family and this community.
We rejoice that you are here.

Thanksgiving
May it be well with you.
All  And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All  May we rejoice in the beauty that we are (GrettaVosper/wwg).

For us in Australia, the driest continent on earth,
water is a precious commodity…
Water is everything.
Water is life.

Today we claim the joy of water
and the way it sustains and nourishes us.
All  
Let it flow and pour and sprinkle for all people.
That all may know each day the gift of God in water.
The water is poured into the font

The biblical stories of our tradition also talk of the preciousness of water.
These stories remind us that water
is a blessing and the source and strength of life.

Without it humanity and all that has evolved
could not survive.

So let's give thanks:
for this child,
for this gift of water.

Prayer
We gather to pray, believing that God prays in us.

We acknowledge our responsibility
to ensure we use the resources of water well,
and make available future resources 
for our children and their children.

We give thanks for the gift of this water.
May it be the birthing waters of a new and holy life.
All  
May it be so.
The congregation stands as they are able

The Baptism
(NN)
in the touch of this water, the ancient symbol of new life,
I baptise you into the love, service and joy of God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…
Source of Life, Companion, Enlivener.
All  Amen.
The minister takes the child

OR  (The following Formulae does not conform to WCC Standards)

(NN)
in the touch of this water, the ancient symbol of new life,
I baptise you in the name of
Life who created you,
Wisdom who knew you first,
Hope by whom you shall be sustained,
Delight in whom I pray you to live, and
Love… may you live every day in its embrace (Adapt.Gretta Vosper/wwg)
All  May it be so.

Out of the stars in their flight, out of the dust of eternity,
All  
here have we come,
Stardust and sunlight, mingling
through time and through space (Robert Weston/slt).

Each time we gather in in this sacred place
we are reminded that Aboriginal people
have cared for this land since time immemorial,
loving it as their mother.

Others have also come from many places on earth
and this place has now become home to all.

Respecting the relationship between humankind and
the earth insight of Aboriginal people,
(N), we place your feet in this soil.

You are a child of the Spirit and a child of the earth.
You have inherited the responsibility of caring for this earth.
Cherish it for all creation (Adapt.Neale Roberts).

v2  (NN) may the presence of the Spirit of Love in you
be nurtured and constantly affirmed by
your family,
your friends, and by
your church community.

May the sun and the stars
delight and touch your heart with fire
and so may you find passion to be creative.

May you know God’s blessing.

Blessing
People stand as they are able, to sing

All  May the mystery of God enfold us,       95 AA
may the wisdom of God uphold us,
may the fragrance of God be around us,
may the brightness of God surround us,
may the wonder of God renew us,
may the loving of God flow through us,
may the peace of God deeply move us,
may the moving of God bring us peace. Joy Cowley

During the Blessing the elder introduces the newly baptised child to the congregation.
At the end of the Blessing the congregation sits.

Responses
To parents

(N) and (N),
I invite you now to honour this journey of faith
by making these affirmations:

Will you provide for (N) a welcoming home of love and trust,
sharing with her/him the stories of life – yours, ours –
and the wisdom and faith of those who have gone before us?
Par.  
We will.

Will you help (N) grow in his/her understanding
and appreciation of a broad religious faith?
Par.  
We will.

Will you encourage (N) to reach out to others
with love and compassion…
and care for the earth?
Par.  
We will.

To God parents

(N) and (N),
you have been asked by (N) and (N)
to be god parents for (N).

Will you do everything possible to ensure (NN)
is nurtured so her/his faith is healthy and strong?
Gp.  
We will.

To others gathered

Each of us knows the need for support and care
as we share in a journey of faith.

As this family gathers around this font and this water,
symbols of belonging and community,
let us pledge our care for them.
All  
We stand as witnesses to the commitment
this family has made this day.

And we pledge ourselves to their support and care
as they discover the ways that the Spirit
unfolds for them (Gretta Vosper/wowg).

Baptismal Prayer
We pray:
May this newly baptised child be blessed.
May s/he always know that the Source of all Love
lives and comes to unique expression, in her/him.
All  
May it be so.

Gp. May (N) and (N) be blessed,
may they always show their gratitude
for the new life given them
by loving and caring for (N).
All  
May it be so.

May this gathering of faithful people be blessed.
May we all live in love.
And may we continue to draw encouragement
from the faith which connects our loving
with the sacred mystery we call ‘God’.
All  
May it be so.

This is a day of great celebration for (NNN).
All  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Baptismal Hymn
Now let (N) receive the gift of the congregation 
as we stand and sing the Baptismal hymn... (XX)
Parent/s and God parent/s return to their seats

oo0oo

(Near the end of the morning liturgy the parent/s will again gather at the front of the church with the child to receive a Baptismal candle).

Baptismal Candle
A lighted Candle is given

(N), may this candle remind you
throughout your life, of the sage Jesus,
who opened peoples’ minds and hearts
to see the ‘light’ of God’s presence within them.

(N) and (N) use this candle
to help you tell (N) the story of his/her baptism,
as you light it each year to remember this day.
Parents return to their seats



Some of the Resources used in shaping this liturgy:
Abbott, M. 2001. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for seasonal use. Unley. MediaCom Education.
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and Songs for all Churches. 1993. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
“Baptism in a Progressive Church” A Baptism Liturgy from Verdun Uniting Church. SA.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2002.
Courage to Love. An Anthology of Inclusive Worship Material. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
McRae-McMahon, D. 2003. Rituals for Life, Love and Loss. Paddington. Jane Curry Publishing.
Morwood, M. 2003.
Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Prewer, B. D. 2000.
Australian Psalms. Revised and expanded. Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers.
Uniting in Worship. Leader’s Book. 1988. Melbourne. Uniting Church Press.
Vosper, G. 2008.
With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important than what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Web sites/Other:
Michael Morwood. Baptism Ceremony. 2008. www.greatnewstory.com
Robert T Weston. “Out of the Stars”. No. 530. Singing The Living Tradition. Boston. UUA
Neale Roberts. “Feet in this Soil”. In private circulation.

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