Life Events Baptismal Affirmations

BAPTISMAL AFFIRMATIONS FOR LIFE MILESTONES OR SPECIAL LIFE EVENTS:


Baptismal Affirmation in Thanksgiving for the birth of a child

(To be used at the hospital or at home with the family shortly after birth)

 

Word of Welcome (Invocation)

“On this day of joy and celebration we gather in the name of the source of life; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Today we give thanks for the gift of life and the safe arrival of _______________.

 

Scripture Readings:

Psalm 139:13-14a

Isaiah 43:1, 3a

 

Suggested Hymn or Song

Shine, Jesus, Shine

Jesus Loves Me (add name of the child in refrain)

 

Reflection/Meditation

At this time let us share hopes and dreams for  ______________.

Share how will your life change when _______________ comes home?

What gifts of our own can we use to nurture the life of _____________

and our own lives?

 

Baptismal Affirmation Ritual

“Today as we welcome ______________ into our family we remember how God has welcomed each of us into His family through baptism. Let us take turns now remembering and affirming God’s power to make us one family through baptism.

(Take turns tracing sign of the cross on forehead with words “Remember you are a child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked by the cross of Christ forever.”)

 

Presentation of Gifts

Family members may wish to give gifts for the baby at this time and share significance of gift. Also may give gifts to “big brothers or sisters.”

 

Closing Prayer “O God of life, we are so thankful for watching over us during this time and for bringing _______ into the world and into our family. We ask for your guidance and direction as we journey together as your family united by your Spirit. Amen.

 

Benediction: “May the God of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca bless us as we celebrate our life together. Amen.”

 

Closing Hymn:  “Go my children with my blessing” (With One Voice # 721)


Baptismal Affirmation for a New Home

 

(May be incorporated into “Blessing of a Dwelling”

Occasional Services Book, p. 183. Invite friends, neighbors, and church members and plan a party afterwards. Use of noisemakers as you process from room to room is a nice option to include).

 

Word of Welcome (Invocation)

“Let us lift up, celebrate and give thanks to God for the gift of our new home.”

 

 Scripture Reading:

I Corinthians 13 (and selected verses from Occasional Services book for each room)

 

Suggested Hymn or Song:

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Shine, Jesus, Shine

 

Reflection/Meditation

Share what this home means to you?

What are you hopes and dreams in using this new gift?

How will you help make this a place of hospitality and shelter or refugee for yourself and those in need?

 

Baptismal Affirmation Ritual:

Place baptismal bowl in the place where it will serve as a constant reminder of God’s promises of grace and love through our baptism. Offer a special blessing for the bowl; “Make this bowl of water serve to refresh daily as we remember our baptism into Christ. Amen.” As you move to the next room, invite anyone present to affirm their baptism (while being sensitive to present who might have not been baptized).

 

Presentation of Gifts

Opportunity to present any “house-warming” gifts.

Present candle to be used on anniversary of home purchase date and other special occasions.

 

Closing Prayer:

“We thank you, Lord for giving us this shelter and the comfort of our home.

We also thank you for the gift of being able to welcome others into our home and let them know your love, in Christ. Amen.”

 

Closing Hymn:

 

You who Dwell in the Shelter of the Lord (On Eagle’s Wings)

 

Baptismal Affirmation for Celebrating a Wedding Anniversary

(May be incorporated into “Anniversary of Marriage and Anniversary of Wedding Vows” Occasional Services Book, pp. 37-44)

 

Word of Welcome (Invocation)

“In the union and love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”

 

We have gathered here to celebrate the gift of love between _______and _______.

May we rejoice the source of love that brought them together and has sustained them for the past _____ years as husband and wife.

 

Scripture Reading:

 

I John Chapter 4

 

Suggested Hymn or Song

“Praise God from who all Blessings Flow”

“Love that will not let me go”

 

Reflection/Meditation:

How has God surprised you again and again by the power of love in your marriage?

How has God’s love sustained you through times of crisis and life challenges?

What are you particularly thankful for when you consider your spouse’s gifts, unique qualities and faithfulness?


Baptismal Affirmation Ritual:

After reaffirming wedding vows, each spouse reaffirms God’s baptismal vows to each other. “Remember that in the waters of baptism God promises to empower and sustain you in love, so that you are able to love one another in the same spirit as Christ. Amen.”

 

Presentation of Gifts

Opportunity to share any gifts with the couple or for the spouses to share a gift with each other.

 

Closing Prayer and Benediction:

“May God’s love always guide and renew your love for each other each day and forevermore. Go forth and let the light of your love shine. Amen”

 

Closing Hymn: “When Love is Found”  #741 With One Voice


Baptismal Affirmation Service for the New School Year

(as adapted from "From Everything a Season" by the Nilsen family)

 

Preparation:  This service can be done the night prior to the beginning of the school year at home or within a church worship service.

Ask children to bring their backpacks, book bags or other school items and place the into the center of the room (or in the front of the sanctuary).

Set out baptismal bowls (or gather near the baptismal font).

In addition, have some small Christian symbol (cross, shell, dove) that can be attached on the backpack (e.g., gift pin) or placed inside.

 

Welcome:

In the name of our guiding Spirit, we welcome you to this time of change, excitement and new opportunities.

 

Prayer:

"Gracious God, you have promised to keep us safe and holy. Be present with (_name of child or these children and youth) as another new school year begins. Give (name of children or these children and youth) an open and eager mind. Protect all your children from temptation and guide them with your love. Amen."

 

Scripture (Suggestion; "(Name), the Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore." Psalm 121:8

 

Reflection (especially good if service is at home):  Invite those gathered to share their thoughts and feelings about the new school year by finishing these sentences;

I'm excited about......

I'm worried about.....

I'm scared about.....

 

Ritual Action; If at home, have parents use the baptismal water to make the sign of the cross upon their child saying: "(Name), Jesus is with you wherever you go." (If at church, invite parents to come forward and do the same thing).

Present Christian symbol item (At home parents present this to children, at church it can be either parents or pastor on behalf of the church family) saying; "Attach this upon your backpack as a way to remind you and to let others know that Jesus is with you always."

 

Close with Song (e.g. WOV #779 You who dwell in the Shelter of the Lord)

 

Benediction/Blessing

"(Name), may the love of Jesus be with you on your first day of school and throughout the year. And take our love with you. Amen"

 


Baptismal Affirmation for Graduation

(To be used at graduation party or at home recognition ceremony or at worship service)

 

Word of Welcome and Invocation

Welcome to the celebration of __(name)_______ graduation from (High School/College, etc.)

 

May God bless us all with a humble spirit, a grateful heart, a dedicated mind, and willing hands of service as we fulfill certain goals and achieve what is commendable in God’s eyes. Amen.

 

Suggested Hymn

  “For the Fruit of All Creation” (# 760 With One Voice) or “Be Thou My Vision” (#776 With One Voice) or “Lord of All Hopefulness” (#469 LBW)

 

Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for the times in our lives when we can celebrate our accomplishments. Thank you for the gifts and abilities that you have given (name)

that have enabled this achievement, one that would not be possible had it not been for  you. With gratefulness, we acknowledge your presence and guidance in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Scripture Reading

Philippians 4:8-9

 

Mediation

Have the one who is graduating share thought about the following:

What makes this achievement special for you? What, if any, were the greatest obstacles you had to overcome? What gifts did God give you that allowed you to achieve this goal?

Who are the people you want to thank for their support and help?

 

Baptismal Affirmation

(ask graduate to come forward and those present may place their hands upon his/her shoulders. After reading these words, trace the sign of the cross with water on the graduate and invite others to do also affirm their baptism)

 

Let us affirm the work of the Holy Spirit, received at baptism, which empowers and guides us to do God’s work and will. By the water and the Spirit, we are set forth to accomplish great things in the name of our Lord. May God bless and strengthen (name) this day as we rejoice in the fulfillment of God’s baptismal promises. (+)

Let us join together in thanking and praising God’s Spirit as we renew our baptism as well.

 

Presentation of Gifts

(those present are welcome to share any special gifts for the graduate at this time or share any words of encouragement and congratulations).

 

Suggested Closing Song

“Here I am Lord” (#752 With One Voice) or “On What Has Now Been Sown” (#261 LBW)

or “On our way rejoicing” (#260 LBW)

 

Benediction

O Lord, help us all to keep on doing the things that bring you glory and brightens the light of your love. May your Spirit always give us the courage, wisdom and dedication to follow and obey your will. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Affirmation of Baptism Ritual for being the caretaker of a new pet
.

(Special emphasis for families with children and teaching them the role of responsibility in caring for the pet)

Set up "altar" with baptismal bowl and baptismal candles.

Discuss option of having pet be present for the ritual, and make decision together.

 

Invocation:

"May the Grace of God, the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

 

Sing or play a song (e.g. "Here I am Lord", "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God", "Children of the Heavenly Father")

During song light candles and fill bowl with water (children can help with this).

 

Scripture Reading

(John 10:11-16 - Jesus as the Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep.

Likewise we are to show love for our pet and be a good caretaker.)

 

Statement of Purpose:

We are here to affirm our baptismal calling and God's promise to give us the strength to do His will.

By our baptism God calls us to be responsible for the care and concern of every living creature, created out of love by God.

Let us affirm our responsibility of caring for our new pet (  name of pet)

knowing that God will help us in fulfilling our responsibility to provide the love, protection and care that our new pet needs.

Do you promise to love, provide (i.e. take the pet for walks, clean up after it, be sure they have enough food and water, etc.) and be a good caretaker of (name of pet)?       

Yes, and we ask God to help us.

 

Baptismal Affirmation

Now God through the waters of baptism, grant us the grace and ability to be good caretakers for (name of pet), this we ask in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 Everyone is invited to dip finger into bowl and make sign of the cross

 or have parent make sign of the cross on the children's forehead, saying "You have been called by your baptism to serve God. May you serve in love by being a good caretaker for (name of pet), in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.


Closing Blessing or Benediction

 (Follow ritual with walk or playtime with pet)


Baptismal Affirmation Service for Retirement

(If in church setting, have participants gather around baptismal font or hold baptismal bowls. if in a home setting, use baptismal bowls and candies.)

 

Word of Welcome

Pastor/Worship Leader: "For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” We welcome you to this time of transition, of completing one stage of life and beginning a new one.

 

Let us pray: 0h, God for all seasons, of work and recreation, just as you called your servants to the vocation in which they have labored for many years, so now you call them to a new beginning of retirement and renewal. Be with them as they undergo this transition and empower them to continue to bless others through new opportunities for both labor and rest.

 

Scripture Text: "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place in which he would receive as an inheritance; and so he set out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews, 11:8

 

Brief Reflection: What does it mean to set out for the "promised land" of retirement? Contrast between the promise of no more full-time work, against the promise of new challenges and opportunities to use the skills and wisdom gained from your vocation. Invite participants to look back upon their work life and reflect on following questions:

What skills, values and wisdom have you gained?

How can you continue to share these things with your church, your community and home?

What are you proud of? What would you have done differently? What blessings have been given to you through your employment and how can you use them to bless others?

 

Baptismal Affirmation: (Group of people or individual names) may God lead and guide you into the fullness of this new stage of life, with the joy of having served as a faithful servant through your vocation. May you now go forward to receive your reward and inheritance of rest, yet ever ready to continue to serve and be a blessing to others in your season of retirement. And may you be refreshed by the everlasting promises of hope, love and peace given to you through the baptismal waters of God's grace..

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (+). Amen.

(Pastor may make sign of the cross upon the brow of each participant. using the water from the baptismal bowl, or participants may make their own affirmation by themselves.)

 

Benediction: Go forth now, walking boldly into the future, having been blessed by God's grace and faithfulness and with the knowledge that God walks beside you. Amen.


Baptismal Affirmation for a time of Death and Dying

(To be done in home or hospital setting. As a part of a hospice program

May be incorporated in the “Commendation for the Dying” and “Comforting the Bereaved” in Occasional Services book, pp. 103-112)

 

Words of Welcome (Invocation)

We are gathered in the name of Christ, who conquered death and sustain us in this time.

Let us affirm the promise of our baptism that claims us and give us an identity and purpose beyond the limitations of time.

 

Prayer:  “Father in Heaven, we thank you for the love and protection you offer us in all stages of our lives, in this world and the next. Amen”

 

Scripture Readings:

Isaiah 43:1-4, Isaiah 49:16

Ephesians 1:2-14, Ephesians 2:4-10

Deuteronomy33:27, Matthew 28:20, II Corinthians 5:17-18

 

Suggested Hymn or Song

Borning Cry

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Eagles’ Wings

Amazing Grace

 

Reflection or Meditation

Take time together to reflect on the person’s life and faith, special stories and memories, and how both have affected the lives that are present.

 

Baptismal Affirmation

“Remember that you are a child of God, forever in God’s loving embrace as promised in the waters of baptism. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (+)”

 

Presentation of Gifts

Share any symbolic tokens of person’s life and faith

 

Closing time of Prayer: “Dear Lord, we thank you for your promise that you have prepared a place for us and you will take us home to be with you. Please take _____

Into your presence and leave your peace with those who remain and who will miss ______. This we pray the confidence of your everlasting love. Amen”

 Benediction “May the Lord watch over our coming in and going out, our beginnings and endings and new beginnings, as we ever walk with our Risen Lord. Amen.”



Baptismal Affirmation for the Anniversary of a loved one’s death.

(to be done at home or at the gravesite/memorial garden or as a part of a worship service)

 

Invocation

O Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of life, be with us now, as we remember (name) and the events surrounding his/her death, as share our memories and the promise of your eternal love shown to us in the Resurrection of Christ. Amen

 

Opening Hymn   “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” LBW # 352

or “O God, our Help in Ages Past” LBW #320

 

Opening Prayer

“O Lord, we look to you for comfort and strength as we observe the anniversary of (name’s) death. Heal us of the pain that comes from our sense of loss and grief.

Grant us your healing Spirit that we are given the renewed ability to place our trust in the good news that there is nothing that can separate us from your tender love, in Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.”

 

Scripture reading: Romans 8: 31-39 and/or Revelations 21:1-7

 

Meditation

Questions for reflection and discussion:

What do you most remember about __________?

What do you most miss about ______________?

What memory still brings a smile or a tear?

What are you looking forward to most in our promised reunion with _________?

What gives you the most encouragement and strength as you grieve?

What would you want to say to ___________ right now?

Allow time for silent prayer and a chance for open sharing.

 

Baptismal Affirmation:

(If at the gravesite or memorial garden, use evergreen branch to sprinkle water from baptismal bowl on gravesite and upon participants. If at home invite everyone to come up and make sign of the cross with the water on the forehead).

In unison: “As we recall and affirm the promises of God’s grace and love in baptism, may we receive the joy of abundant and eternal life in Christ!

And may the Lord bless us and keep us. May the Lord’s face shine upon us and be gracious unto us. May the Lord look upon us with favor and grant us peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

 

 

 Baptismal Affirmation to be used prior to going on Vacation/Trip

 

(To be done at home the night before you leave on family vacation or just prior to leaving on a trip, e.g., right before getting into the car or leaving for the airport. Put baptismal bowl on table and light baptismal candles) 

 

Invocation: O gracious Lord, before we leave for journey, we pause to ask for your loving presence to be with us. Remind us of your baptismal promise to be with us and protect us as we go upon our way.

 

Opening Prayer: Good and loving God, we pray that we may arrive at our destination safely and that your Spirit shall guide and sustain us every step of the way. Make us aware of all the good things and learning experiences that you have in store for us, and help us be ever mindful of your presence. Amen

 

Scripture Reading:

“It is the Lord who goes before you. God will be with you ; God will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

(or use examples of traveling stories in the Bible; e.g., Jesus sends out the disciples – Luke 9:1-6, The Exodus story, Paul’s journeys)

 

Meditation:

 Questions for reflection and discussion: Who will we see on our trip?

Why are we going? How long will we be there? What about this trip makes you excited?… or nervous? What do you hope that God will give you by this trip or this time of vacation? Can you think of times when people in the Bible took special trips or even a vacation break?

 

Baptismal Affirmation:

Let us affirm God’s promise to always go before us and along side us as we begin this journey (and time of vacation). Using your baptismal bowl, dip your finger into the water and make the sign of the cross upon each family member saying: “Remember, God goes with you.”

 

Closing Song: “On our way Rejoicing” LBW # 260

 

Benediction:

“May we always remember that God is with us wherever we may go. Amen”

 

 

 

Baptismal Affirmation for Homecoming

(to be used after return from a trip or vacation time)

 

Invocation:

In the name of our ever-present Lord, who is always with us wherever we go and is our true home for our hearts. Amen

 

Opening Prayer:

O loving Protector, we thank you for our safe travels and this joyful homecoming.

We rejoice in having a home to return to and its many promises of comfort, peace and sense of belonging. We remember in our prayers those who are homeless, that together with your help, we may do our part to ensure that everyone can have a place to call home.

In the steadfast love of Christ, Amen.

 

Suggested Hymn:   “Now we Thank our God” # 534 LBW “Oh, Blest the House” # 512 LBW

 

Scripture Reading:  

 

 

Meditation:  Share what feels best of being home again? How has our trip away/vacation helped us to appreciate our home? How has it prepared us for facing the challenges of our daily routine again? What would it be like not to have a home to come back to? How can we respond to the problem of homelessness within our own community?

 

Baptismal Affirmation Ritual:

Invite family members to bring one special item that you missed to the “altar” and place beside the bowl and candle. Or name the one thing you missed most. How is this “object” representative of your home? Share what it means to be a part of God’s family and the promise of always having a home in God?

Dip finger in bowl and make sign of the cross saying: “Our home is always in God’s love as given to us in our baptism into Christ. Amen”

 

Presentation of Gifts: Share souvenirs obtained on trip, e.g., for children; a new stuffed animal to sleep with as you return back to own bed again.

 

Closing Song:  “Great is Thy Faithfulness” # 771 WOV


Benediction:
  May God’s embrace of love and promise of always having a home, grant our hearts peace tonight and forever. Amen.

 


Baptismal Remembrance for  First Time away from home for an extended time

(an example of this is for a child going away to camp or retreat or school field trip. To be done at home the night before leaving).

 

Place Baptismal bowl and candle on table.

 

Word of Welcome: "For everything there is a season and a time for every concern under heaven."  Welcome to this time of asking for God’s protection and comfort in leaving home for the first time alone.

 

Opening Prayer:  " O loving God and almighty protector, we thank you that you promise to watch over us wherever we may go. Now be with (name of one going away) as she/he heads to ___________. Grant her/him a sense of your presence and may it grant them peace and strength. Amen"

 

Scripture Reading:  First Chronicles 28:20

 

Song: “Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord, for thy God is with thee”

Reflection/Meditation:  

Share together what you think it will be like to be away. What will camp or the program be like? Who will be with you? What do you plan to do if you get homesick? What will it be like for the parents?

 

 

Baptismal Remembrance and Re-commitment Ritual:

       God promises to always be with us. Our baptism is a way for God to remind us that there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love and protection.

Parents make sign of the cross with water on the one leaving, saying: “God will be with you, put all your fears on Him and God will give you the strength to be bold and enjoy this new experience. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

 

Presentation of Gifts:

A necklace to wear or put on favorite stuffed animal, picture of family, a new stuffed animal, a cross or candle, small baptismal bowl.

 

Benediction;  "May the road rise up to meet you…. (Gaelic blessing)

 

Closing Hymn:   Eagle’s Wings (May you dwell in the Shelter of the Lord) #   WOV