James Interfaith Baby Blessing
Welcome friends and family! Today is a very special day for all of us. It is a day in which we celebrate the birth of this child James. He is a gift. His smile, his laughter, and his presence enrich the lives of all who know her. Only, 2 months old, and already he has made the world a better place.
This child is our future and represents the light of the world. Adam and Michele have honored all of you today by inviting you to not only witness this beautiful welcoming ceremony, but most importantly, to participate in the blessing of this child.
James comes from a wonderful family, with a rich and diverse cultural and religious heritage. Adam and Michele look forward to raising James to understand and celebrate both of their religious traditions. There are many paths to becoming a good person, with a strong internal moral compass and a joy of living. It is such an exciting time and place we live in James is free to learn from and embrace all sides of the spiritual paths that have come together, and will make him who he is. So not only is this a joyous occasion, but a spiritual one, as well.
Moment of Remembrance:
This event is shared, if in a different way, by those who have passed beyond this life. Their roles in the lives of Adam and Michele are gratefully remembered. They acknowledge and honor the bloodlines, the history and the people who have all gone into the creation of James. They remember what it felt to be with these loved ones, and that through shared memories James may come to know his ancestors and the lineage that is his birthright.
Invocation (this is the beginning blessing on this service that is about to begin):
In the Jewish tradition, there is a very special prayer that is said upon reaching a joyous occasion, called the Shehechyanu. The Shehechyanu is said when a baby is born, when a baby learns to walk, upon celebrating religious and educational milestones, the scared bond of marriage, as well as important holiday celebrations.
The Shehechyanu expresses our gratitude for being able to be with the parents and celebrate their new baby
Blessed are you, creator of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us, and permitted us to celebrate this joyous occasion.
Grandfather or father should say: :“Baruch ata Adonai elohenu melech haolam Shehecheyanu Vekeeyamanu Vehigeeyanu Lazman Hazeh.”
Dedication of the Name
In every birth, blessed is the wonder.
In every creation, blessed is the new beginning.
In every child, blessed is life.
In every hope, blessed is the potential.
In every transition, blessed is the beginning.
In every existence, blessed are the possibilities.
In every love, blessed are the tears.
In every life, blessed is the love.
There are three names by which a person is called:
One which his father and mother call him,
And one which people call him,
And one which he earns for himself.
The best one of these is the one that he earns for himself.’
Names have always been a powerful part of our identity. They can represent the family to which we belong, or the part of the world from which we come and even some part of our personality.
As James grows he will indeed claim his own titles and names, Adam and Michele have given him a name to begin his journey. I would like to invite Ben and Tricia to please come forward to explain James’s name sake.
Ben says: James’s Hebrew name will be Yosef (Ben will explain the Hebrew meaning of his name)
Tricia says: James’s middle name will be Kenneth (Tricia will explain the meaning of his name)
Officiant to Parents:
Congratulations on the birth of your son. Today we simply give thanks and celebrate all the many wonderful blessings James brings, and do our best to remember, and be thankful for, the very special role that we all have in his life.
Charge to Parents:
Adam and Michele the journey of parenthood is one of amazing beauty.
We gather here because it is our wish that James grows to be a man who truly love his life. You most of all will be his guide on this journey. It is important to provide not only food and clothing to a child but also time and love and respect. So it is only right that this ceremony should include your promise to nurture your son in all ways as he grows.
Therefore as a promise to him and a reminder to yourselves as the years pass, I now ask you to…
Remember that James is his own being with his own thoughts and feelings. He is a child of the universe and has been given many gifts from the Divine so that he can light the way for the future. Therefore, it is important for you to support him and protect him, so that his gifts may blossom and he can make this world better than it was before.
Adam and Michele will you promise to love, nurture, and support James and to create a healthy environment so that he may grow on his own specific path? If so, please answer “We will.”
Parents: We will
Charge to Godparents
A wonderful tradition in our culture on these occasions is the responsibility accepted by Godparents.
Godparents are those who promise they will be there to help the child grow spiritually. Theirs is a place in James’s life almost like a guardian angel. The promise is one of a physical presence in his life as someone who he knows will always be standing quietly behind him, encouraging him to make good choices, and sharing with him the lessons they themselves have learned along the way.
Today Michelle and Matthew have agreed to become involved in James’s life by promising to be there for him should he need support, wisdom, comfort and guidance.
They have been chosen by Adam and Michele because of their connection with them, and the family. The fact that they have been chosen by Adam and Michele, is an indicator of their position of trust, and respect within this family.
Officiant to Godparents:
While you are not James’s parents the place that you have both taken in his life is an
important one. Adam and Michele trust your motivations and your judgment completely and they take comfort in knowing that although there will be times when James cannot come to them, that he will always be able to come to you for guidance and support. By accepting the role of Godparent you say to James and the world. I promise, I will be there for you as you grow . With this in mind I now ask you...
Will you as best as you can, help take care of James?
To protect him at all times from harm?
To encourage, guide and support him in all his endeavors,
Help him recognize the beauty within himself and all things,
And to become someday not the man we wish for him but the realization of his own hopes, dreams and the fulfillment of his soul?”
Godparents: “We will.”
May you always know how special you are to Adam and Michele that they would ask you to tend to the most precious thing that they have in this world."
Acknowledgement of Grandparents
There is no other bond quite like that of a grandparent and their grandchild. Grandparents are a family’s greatest treasure, the founders of a loving legacy, the greatest storytellers, and the keepers of traditions that linger on in cherished memory. Grandparents are the family’s strong foundation. They have a special love that sets them apart from anyone else. They are always there to love you unconditionally, to listen when you feel like you’re not being heard, and to give advice that is always wise and pure of heart.
Will James Grandparents please stand.
James is honored to have his grandparents Dennis, Patricia, Ben, Lanie, Amy and Russ here today.
Officiant to grandparents: Adam and Michele are grateful to have you in their son’s life. May you always be aware of how special the extraordinary relationship of trust and mutual enjoyment between child and grandparent is.
The Blessing of the Child
Water has long been considered by many as the source of life. Water is in and around all of us, and is also a symbol of the human spirit, always in motion, never ceasing, only taking new forms. Every element needs water to grow and thrive, to even survive. The trees and flowers, the fish and the birds, and all of us. Water nourishes us, cleanses us, comforts us, and renews us. This ceremony is to celebrate James’s life, and to signify our intentions to nourish his heart, his mind, his body, and his spirit, to allow his life to flow in the direction he chooses each day, with the love and guidance of family and friends to help him find his way.
James Our wish for you is that the love that surrounds you today will wash over you like rain every day of your life, just as this water rains on you now…
Officiant rubs the blessed water on the top of his head and says:
You are connected, protected, loved, and blessed.
Officiant rubs the blessed water on his forehead and says:
All your senses are blessed, protected, and awakened.
Officiant rubs the blessed water over his heart and says:
Your heart is blessed so that you may feel compassion for yourself and others.
Officiant rubs the blessed water on both his hands and says:
Your hands are blessed so that you may reach out to the world.
Officiant rubs the blessed water on both his feet and says:
Your feet are blessed so that you may connect with the earth, be grounded, and stand your ground in this world. Know that your spirit is strong and it will guide you through this life.. Know that you are deeply loved and that your presence brings overwhelming joy.
Candle lighting: Officiant
I ask that the parents and godparents each take one of the candles and light it.
These candles symbolize hope and new life in the world.
Then, together, light the center candle for James, as the light of his life.
James, may the blessing of light be with you always,
Light without and light within.
May the sun shine upon you and warm your heart
Until it grows like a great fire,
So that others may feel the warmth of it.
And may the light of your eyes shine like two candle lights
In a window at night bidding the wanderer
To come in out of the dark and cold.
And may the blessings of God be upon you.
Be fearless and pure; give freely, be peaceful, sincere, truthful, loving and live life with an open heart.
Be compassionate and gentle, show good will to all.
I ask that at the conclusion of this service, each of you keep your candle for this reason:
Should there be a time in James’s future for which he faces difficult times of trial, or be called upon to make grave decisions of hardship or joy, or become lost in spirit,you should, as the duty and obligation you have assumed today find a quiet place alone to yourself. Light this candle or another and through pray ask God for the safekeeping of James in both body and soul.
Prayer of Gratitude:
Let us pray:
God we thank you for bringing James into this world, into our lives. Thank you for blessing this child and blessing us all with your presence here today. Thank you for bringing this family together to welcome James to our community in love. Help us to live in your light and integrity every day, so that we may be good role models for James and all our children. Watch over us so that we may all get home safely today. Amen
Officiant to Parents:
Michele and Adam I say on behalf of all of us, go in peace and build a strong and beautiful family life. Your wishes are rooted in truth, for we have prayed with you and joined our hearts with yours. Your prayers are our prayers, that you might have a home that is full of love and righteousness for you and your child. May he grow up to reflect the best in both of you, and extend unto the world he touches, the love he receives from his mother and father. Do not fear for God will guide you always. Do not despair, for he is ever there. The spirit of God is with you always, to guide you both and bless your child.
Officiant to child:
The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24)
With abiding confidence and affection, we send you forth on your journey of life. May you be filled with thanks and wonder, humor and fun, hope and perseverance so that you may grow in wisdom and grace.
Officiant to guests
May God’s blessings rest upon you, may his peace abide with you, and may his presence illuminate your hearts now and forever more. Go in peace.