Do You Really Mean Baptism – or Thanksgiving?
A Service of Thanksgiving May Well Fit The Bill
In the services introduced by the Church of England in 2000 is one called “Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child”. The title is a bit of a mouthful, but as yet no one has come up with a reasonable, single-word alternative!
It is designed to meet the needs of:
- parents who see this as a preliminary to Baptism;
- parents who do not wish their children to be baptised immediately;
- others, who do not wish for Baptism, but who recognise that something has happened for which they wish to give thanks to God.
The service of Baptism puts onerous duties on the Parents and Godparent of the person being baptised. You may not be comfortable with these at the moment. The Baptism service requires you to agree to pray for your children, draw them by your example into the community of faith, walk with them in the way of Christ and help them to take their place within the life and worship of the Church. You are required and will be asked to affirm these undertakings before the congregation and before God during the service. Are you sure that you are able to meet your obligations, even with the help of God? Why not read on…
Thanksgiving, (There’s a single-word name for it!) will be more appropriate for many parents who would like a service in church to commemorate the birth or adoption of their child.
For you as parents, with your relations and friends the Thanksgiving and Naming service offers an opportunity where the new member(s) of your family can be welcomed, which will be memorable and where photos can be taken for the family album to mark the event.
The first question that you will be asked is:
- What name have you given this child?
Then the minister leading the service will ask you two further questions ..
- Do you receive these children as a gift from God?
- Do you wish to give thanks to God and seek his blessing?
You are considering this form of service so we anticipate you will be happy to respond “We do” to each of these questions before the moving on.
The minister asks for God’s blessing and protection for the child and for the parents and asks the relations and friends who are present to support them in that task.
This part of the service will end with special prayers of blessing for you, the parents.
The service of Thanksgiving and Naming will be held as part of our regular Sunday morning service on the first Sunday of each month, alternating with Baptism.