(Please note that any readings, vows, prayers and any other ceremony elements can be changed, rearranged, substituted, deleted or added as necessary.)
~ Welcome and Introduction ~
Good afternoon! I wish you a warm welcome to the blessing ceremony of (Mom) and (Dad)’s beautiful new baby (son/daughter).
We gather on this very special day to witness (Mom) and (Dad)’s commitment to parenthood (once again – a commitment they have already proven time and time again with their beautiful children/sons/daughters) – and to officially welcome this precious new member into the family, and into our world. We are here because of our relationship with (Mom) and (Dad), for we are their community – their circle of love and support. We are the community with whom they celebrate life’s special moments, and to whom they turn in times of need. We are their extended family and friends, and we honor their commitment to this new arrival, this beautiful miracle of the universe, who has changed their lives in so many ways forever.
In this special circle, we are bound together by love and respect. Each and every one of us matters. When we leave here today, we will remain a part of this special circle. In our everyday lives, it is often a rare opportunity to experience this specialness, so let this baby blessing be a time when we remember to be caring toward one another. This child we name today is a newcomer. At one time, we have all been newcomers. And like all of us, (he/she) needs us to open our circle and support (him/her).
Being a parent awakens you to the recognition that you are no longer a child – though, by now, I’m sure you have discovered the benefits of maintaining the child-like sense of joy and wonder in the world as your children continue to make new discoveries for themselves. Claiming adulthood for our own, we look at our children, and we see a reflection of ourselves. We feel the temptation to help them to succeed in areas in which we may have made mistakes. Yet as much as we seek to make them like us, we cannot. As Kahlil Gibran put it, “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” What we can do is support them, and encourage them to do their best. As they grow, they will in turn be leading us to grow with them. This we can do, if we love them not for who they may become, but for who they are – unique, loving children of God.
Parenthood is the ultimate expression, and the greatest challenge of a marriage. The greatest act of love parents have to give their children is the love they express to one another. The interactions between a mother and a father, husband and wife, form the web of the relationship that serves as the child’s nest. Children learn about life from their parents. They learn about men and women, communication, caring, respect, feelings, conflict and love from watching their parents. Recognizing this, we gather before each other now to reaffirm our commitment to each other, and to (Dad) and (Mom)’s baby (son/daughter).
~ Sand Ceremony ~
And now as we continue, I call upon a few very special participants to come up, and when you do, I will ask you to pour some of this colored sand before you into this bottle, for you are all different, important influences that will impact this little girl’s life forever, and whom (he/she) will cherish forever. The sand you pour shall represent your love, your encouragement, and your diverse influence, contained, combined and displayed in this beautiful keepsake that (he/she) may cherish forever, to stand as a reminder of all you are for (him/her).
Honoring of the Grandparents & Great Grandparents: (Mom) and (Dad) would first like to acknowledge their (son/daughter)’s Great Grandparents, (Names), (Mom)’s parents (Names), and (Dad)’s parents (Names). Please come forward and pour your sand into this bottle. Remember that our families lay the foundation for our being. And as the Great Grandparents and Grandparents pour their sand, we think of the love, encouragement, guidance and support their families gave to (Mom) and (Dad). This love, encouragement, guidance and support is not only appreciated, but remains as the foundation for all (Mom) and (Dad) give unto their (son/daughter).
(Recognition of the Big Brothers/Sisters: Truly the closest bond this baby (boy/girl) may ever form will be with (his/her) Big (Brothers/Sisters). Please come forward and perhaps one of the grown-ups can help you pour your sand into this bottle. As (he/she) pours (his/her) sand, remember, (Brothers/Sisters), that it is not only a great responsibility to be a Big (Brother/Sister), but it’s also a whole lot of fun! As a Big (Brother/Sister), you will get to be the baby’s best friend and playmate. You will be able to turn to each other when you’re sad, and share with each other the times when you’re happy. And though there may be times when (he/she) takes your toys, rips up your books, ruins your doll’s hair, or eats all of your cookies, know that you will both have someone who will love you, no matter where you are, or what you are doing, always and forever.)
Naming of the Godparents: An old proverb says, “in times of trouble, go to the friend of your father, go to the friend of your mother.” From this ancient wisdom comes the tradition of Godparents – the special people who dedicate themselves to watching out for the welfare of others’ children. It is a noble and loving tradition of commitment. At this time I would like to call up two very wonderful and special people who will serve as this child’s Godparents, (Name) and (Name). Please come forward and pour your sand into this bottle. The two of you have been given an important responsibility in the future of this beautiful child. In our complex world, it is not possible for even the most loving and capable parents to raise a child completely alone. If our children are to become loving and independent adults, they need the wisdom, counsel, love and support of many adult friends. You have asked by the parents of this child to accept this honor and responsibility. It is with utmost gratitude and trust that this child’s parents have asked you to assume this role.
[To the Godparents:] (Name) and (Name), do you understand your role and the commitments it entails, and do you accept this trust given to you as spiritual parents? If so, please answer, “We do.” [We do.]
God shall place within you the wisdom and strength you need to hold within your minds forever, the good of this child and the importance of the emotional responsibility now entrusted to you. May this commitment and dedication enrich your lives. I now pronounce you Godparents of (Mom) and (Dad)’s baby girl. May you forever love and pray for this child, and do your best to be a shining example of God’s love. Amen.
Commitment of the Parents: I now ask (Dad) and (Mom) to step forward please and pour your sand into this bottle.
(Dad) and (Mom), please face each other now, take each other’s hands, and look deeply into each other’s eyes.
[To the father:] Do you, (Dad), commit yourself to (Mom) as her partner, promising to support her as a mother? [I do.] Do you give yourself to your (son/daughter) as (his/her) father, promising to act out of your love for (him/her), respecting and supporting (him/her) uniqueness, and eliciting the best from (him/her)? [I do.]
[To the mother:] Do you, (Mom), commit yourself to (Dad) as his partner, promising to support him as a father? [I do.] Do you give yourself to your (son/daughter) as (his/her) mother, promising to act out of your love for (him/her), respecting and supporting (his/her) uniqueness, and eliciting the best from (him/her)? [I do.]
[To the community:] This community gathered here will be especially important to this child. We are (his/her) people. As (he/she) comes of age, we will remain a part of (his/her) world. (He/She) will look among us for companionship and leadership, and (he/she) will look to all of us for support and love. By watching us, (he/she) will learn how life works. (He/She) will know the way human society works by how we create our relationships here. Do all of you pledge to support this child, to respect (his/her) uniqueness, and to elicit the best from (his/her) and this family? If so, then please answer, “We do.” [We do.]
I now invite the remaining guests here today to add their sand into the bottle.
~ Pronouncement & Blessing of the Baby’s Name ~
Dear Family, Friends, and Loved Ones, you have committed yourselves to welfare and well being of this baby girl, as well as to each other as a circle of love and support. Let (him/her) be known in this world as (First Name/Middle Name), (son/daughter) of (Mom) and (Dad), (explanation of the source of the name, if named after somone).
[To the baby:] This is your name, Little One, and it is indeed a powerful, blessed name, (First Name) meaning “(meaning),” (further explanation) and (Middle Name) meaning “(meaning),” (further explanation). Bear your name with honor, and know that you are blessed on this and every day. Know that you were created in the image and likeness of God, and in that likeness, you too have the power to create miraculous, wonderful things in this universe. There is nothing that you cannot be, nothing you cannot do, and nothing that you cannot have. Go forward through your time on this planet creating the experiences that will help you decide what you want in life, and when you have decided, focus your thoughts only that which you want. May your life bring about all of the joy and happiness that the universe has to offer not only for yourself, but for all those who are touched by the presence of your grace.
~ Water Blessing ~
In India, people greet and depart from each other with the phrase, “Namaste,” which means “The divinity in me recognizes the divinity in you.” Like drops of water that spray up from the ocean, we spring up from a divine source, and to that source we shall return – all the while, deep within our souls, we retain the same divine makeup as the source itself.
And so at this time, I’d like to now bless you with a few drops of water, not to wash away anything that’s dirty or sinful, for there is truly nothing dirty or sinful about you, but to remind you of your connection to the divine, and the things you must do in this life because of your connection.
With this water:
I touch your head, so that you might think all of the thoughts that guide you along your path, and that you might come to know your true nature,
I touch your eyes, so that you might see all that needs to be seen, and that you may come to understand the beauty in all things,
I touch your ears, so that you might hear all of the great wisdom from all ages, and that you might appreciate the sweet music of life, as well as the silence,
I touch your lips, so that you might say all of the things that need to be said, and that you might pass on all that you know
I touch your hands, so that you might do all of the work that needs to be done and that you might reach for and grasp all of God’s abundance,
I touch your feet, so that you might go to all the places you need to go, and that you might stand for truth and justice,
and I touch your heart, so that you might feel all of the love that is bestowed upon you, and that you might return that love to all of God’s creation.
~ A Word from the (Parents) of the Baby ~
At this point, I’d like to invite (Dad/Mom) to come up and say a few words (he/she) has prepared in honor of (his/her) (son/daughter).
~ Prayer and Meditation ~
Let us now enter into the spirit of prayer and meditation.
Dear God, our creator and eternal source of all that is, please sustain and watch over this child for (his/her) father and mother. May (his/her) father rejoice in his offspring, may (his/her) mother rejoice in the fruit of her womb, and may (his/her) (brothers/sisters) rejoice in (their/his/her) eternal friend and confidant. Let the child and (his/her) family be filled with joy, happiness and radiance, and may they come to know all of the abundance of God’s goodness. Let us give thanks to God that this little one, (Name), has successfully passed (his/her) very first challenge of entering into this world, and may (he/she) grow stronger and stronger with every challenge (he/she) faces. As (he/she) has entered into our world, so may (he/she) enter into a life of loving relationships and good deeds. May (he/she) grow into a wise and understanding person of goodness, a valiant (man/woman) of greatness.
I now offer you a moment of silence to add your own personal thought or prayer.
And so it is. Blessed Be and Amen.
On behalf of all who shall come to know this child, with the faith that (he/she) may find among us all the nourishment, encouragement and guidance (he/she) needs, I now give you (Name)! Welcome, (Name), to our community and our world!