We are delighted that you want to thank God for the gift of your child and are considering having a service in church to celebrate. The Bible tells us that all good things come from God, including our children, so it’s right to enjoy them and thank Him for them.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.Psalm 127:3
At St Mary Magdalene, we want to offer you and your children a very warm welcome and will do all we can to support you and celebrate with you. That’s why we have two special ways to give thanks to God for the gift of a child and to ask for God’s blessing and His help in bringing them up.
A Blessing & Naming Ceremony
This ceremony has a number of traditional elements:
The blessing — Just as Jesus took little children in His arms and blessed them, so the minister will hold your child and pray for God’s blessing on them and all the family.
The naming — The minster will ask what name you have chosen for your child, and proclaim it to the congregation. (The giving of the Christian name is sometimes called the christening).
The supporters’ promises — A few carefully chosen close friends or family members promise to be there for and to support both your child and also you (as a parent), as your child grows up.
A Blessing & Naming Ceremony can happen at any time and on any day which suits both you and the church.
Images above © Alice Elizabeth Photography: Family Lifestyle Photographer. Reproduced by kind permission.
A Service of Christian Baptism
The above elements are also part of a service of Baptism but in addition we also ask God to ensure the child grows up in the Christian faith. We both express our trust in Him to bring this about, as well as promising to do all we can to pass our faith on to the child.
God does not intend that parents do this alone, and so both the church family and some specially chosen godparents also make promises to God to help and support your child in their faith as they grow up. For this reason, baptisms make sense as part of our main Sunday morning service, and are a great family celebration!
To help you prepare for the service, the vicar will arrange to meet with you and the potential godparents (usually in your home) to talk through the service and explain the promises to be made. That way you can be sure this service is the right choice for you.
Please read our leaflet ‘Thanking God for the gift of Children‘ for further information and answers to some frequently asked questions.
If you’re interested in having a service for your child, the best way to get the ball rolling is to come along and join us one Sunday morning at 10am. That way you will know what a regular Sunday service is like and there will be plenty of time to chat to the vicar and other members of the church family afterwards over tea and coffee.