Liturgy On The Occasion Of The Birth, Baptism, Or Dedication Of A Child Part II

Themes: Biblical, Child Dedication, Liturgy, Scholar

The following liturgies may be used in small or large family celebrations or in gatherings of the larger worshiping community. Adapt to local needs and customs.

Affirming the Covenant

Leader:     In the early church it was the custom for all people to reaffirm their covenant at every baptism. Therefore, in the following words, we will reaffirm our faith and our commitment:

Do you believe in God the Father?

Response:     I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Leader:     Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

Response:     I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Leader:     Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

Response:     I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

Leader:     Will you continue in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers? If so, answer, “?I will, with God’s help.?”

Response:     I will, with God’s help.

Leader:     Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

Response:     I will, with God’s help.

Leader:     Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

Response:     I will, with God’s help.

Leader:     Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

Response:     I will, with God’s help.

Leader:     Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

Response:     I will, with God’s help.

The Prayer of Commitment

Leader:     Father, we who are gathered here today rejoice in the baptism of [Name], and with him/her we reaffirm our baptismal vows. Deliver us, O Lord, from the way of death. Open our hearts to your faith. Fill us with your life-giving spirit. Keep us in your holy church, and grant us the power to live in our vows, through Jesus our Lord and Savior. Amen.

The Dismissal

Leader:     Let us greet the baptized with the kiss of peace.

(Here each may greet the baptized with a handshake or an appropriate hug, saying, “?The Peace of the Lord be with you.?” In the case of an infant the greeting may be extended to the parents.)

On the Occasion of Infant Dedication

Gathering

Leader:     Dear family and friends, God has seen fit to bring the infant [Name] into the world. Let us rejoice together in the dedication of this child to the Lord, and let us pray together for his/her spiritual health and growth.

Let us pray.

Father, your Son, the Lord Jesus, welcomed the children into his kingdom. Protect, we pray, this child and bring him/her into a saving relationship with your Son, and into fellowship with your church, the body of Christ. We pray through Jesus our Lord. Amen.

The Scripture Readings

Reader 1:     A reading from Luke:

“?And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

According to your word;

For my eyes have seen your salvation

Which you have prepared before the face of all peoples,

A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,

And the glory of your people Israel.

And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him?” (2:25–33).

This is the word of the Lord.

Response:     Thanks be to God.

Reader 2:     A reading from 2 Timothy:

“?I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind?” (1:3–7).

This is the word of the Lord.

Response:     Thanks be to God.

The Prayer of Commitment

Leader:     Let us commit the life of [Name] to the Lord. Lord Jesus, we bring [Name] to you. For you alone are Lord of the universe. We confess that you are the Lord of [Name]’s life. We commit his/her life into your hands, and we pray you grant the will and wisdom needed to bring this child up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and in the fellowship of the church, your body.

Response:     Amen.

(Here the festivities may commence.)

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