Naming and Thanksgiving for gift of a Child

Revd Rex A E Hunt, MSc(Hons)


Friends, I present to you (N) and (N)
who have come to give thanks
for the birth/adoption of their daughter/son.
Parents come forward

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.

With them all, we give thanks to Creativity God.
Those supporting the family come forward

The Birth
All life is sacred, and children are a gift.
Within a family the birth of a child is a joyous occasion.
In this event we see the wonder
of creativity among us.

A little time ago on (date), a baby was born
and the life of her/his parents
and her/his extended family changed.

The light of her/his presence came among us.
(Candle lit)

In this child, we have already received many gifts.
We celebrate all the gifts
which s/he brings to us in her/his life.
(Child held up by father)

Naming of the Child
A name is more than a word.
It is something which has meaning 
and importance to us.

It was chosen for her/him from every other name.
As we give it to her/him,
we invite her/him to make it her/his own,
to carry it with her/him in life,
to give it new meaning
because it belongs to her/him.

What names have you, her/his parents, chosen for this child?
(Mother shares why they chose this name).

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

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

Like a mother who comforts her children,
Creativity God sustains, nurtures and strengthens us.

Like a father who cares for his children,
Creativity God looks upon us with compassion and goodness.

We give thanks for the birth of (N),
and for the joy which has come to this family.

(To the child)
We anoint you with fragrant oil
as a sign of our blessing to you this day.
May you grow in wisdom and understanding.
(touch head with oil)

May you work for justice in the world.
(touch hands)

May you walk in the ways of peace.
(touch feet)

Poets are also sensitive to events such as this.
At the beginning of his poem Robert Weston writes:
Out of the stars in their flight, out of the dust of eternity,
here have we come,
Stardust and sunlight, mingling
through time and through space… (Robert Weston/slt).

Each time we gather in sacred or ordinary places
we are also reminded that Aboriginal/First Nation 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/First Nation people,
(N), we place your feet in this soil.
Allow the child's feet to touch the soil several times

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.Neil Roberts)

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

All  May God the starmaker cradle and circle you.
May God the storyteller beckon and encourage you.
May God the life changer challenge you and cherish you.
May you walk in the light of God’s love and laughter
all the moments of your nights and days.

Statement by Parents
We thankfully receive (N) as a gift of God.
With humility and hope we promise 
to love and care for her/him
all the days of her/his living.

Statement by those Supporting the Parents 
We are pleased to offer our support and encouragement to
(N) and (N) and to do all we can in love
to share in the upbringing of (N).

(N) and (N)
receive this candle as a symbol of Life.
A candle is lit and given to the parents

See its light…
May it always shine on your path
as you and (NN) journey through life.

Feel its heat…
May the warmth of love empower all your living.


Some of the Resources used in Shaping this Liturgy:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and Songs for all Churches. Raumati: New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
“Baptism in a Progressive Church” A Baptism Liturgy from Verdun Uniting Church. SA.
Duncan, G. (ed).
Courage to Love. An Anthology of Inclusive Worship Material. Norwich: The Canterbury Press, 2002.
McRae-McMahon, D.
Rituals for Life, Love and Loss. Paddington: Jane Curry Publishing, 2003.
Morwood, M.
Praying a New Story. Richmond: Spectrum Publications, 2003.

Web sites/Other:
Michael Morwood. Baptism ceremony. 2007.  <>
Neil Roberts. "Feet in the soil..." Direct from the author.