Seasonal Baptismal Affirmations

Seasonal Baptismal Affirmation Rites
(to be done in the home or in church)

 

 Baptismal Remembrance for Thanksgiving Day

(to be done at home or small church gathering).

Place Baptismal bowl and candle in center of gathering. Also symbols of harvest time (corn, leaves, cornucopia, etc.)

(This has been adapted from To Everything a Season by Nilsen family)

 

Word of Welcome: "For everything there is a season and a time for every concern under heaven."  Welcome to this time of hope-filled gratitude and honoring of God's creation.

 

Prayer:  " Maker of the earth and sky, we praise you for all living things you have made, for earth, air, fire and water that give us life. Grant that we might have grateful hearts and live grateful lives, and that our daily thanksgiving gives you honor and glory. Amen"

 

Scripture Reading;   Psalm 69  (to be read aloud)

 

Reflection/Meditation:   Share together the things you are most thankful for in your life.

To get started you may use sentences like;

"When I think about this country, I am most thankful for......"

"When I think about my family, I am most thankful for......"

"When I think about my life, I am most thankful for...."

 

Baptismal Remembrance and Re-commitment Ritual:

       God has given us many blessings and yet also gives us responsibility with how we use these blessings. Through God's baptismal promise of the Holy Spirit, may we be empowered to be responsible, generous and good stewards for all of God's creation.

 

+ In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (dip finger in bowl and make sign of the cross on your own forehead or upon each other's forehead.)

May God's grace fill you with thanksgiving and direct you to be a trustworthy caretaker for the splendor of God's earth.

 

Benediction;  "Go forth on this day of Thanksgiving to sing praises of gratitude for all that God has done and promises to do in the days ahead!"

 

Closing Hymn:   Now Thank We all our God  (LBW # 534) or "For the Fruit of all Creation (WOV #760)


Baptismal Affirmation to be included in All Saints Sunday

(for use at church or at home on All Saints Day - Nov. 1st)

 

Word of Welcome:  May the God of everlasting and abundant life bless you in your sainthood through Jesus Christ, our eternal light and salvation.

 

(In church setting, to be used just before Holy Communion and invite congregation to remember and affirm their baptism as they come forward to receive the Communion)

 

Scripture Reading

Read Hebrews 12:1-2


Reflection/Meditation

 

Name a saint that inspires you. Say why.

Share about the people who are now in God's heavenly kingdom who loved you and taught you about God's eternal love.

Light a candle in honor of that person and thank God for their gift of love.


Baptismal Affirmation Ritual
:

Let us affirm that we are united with all the saints of light through our baptism into Christ and share the never-ending hope of the water that shall forever quench our thirst and renew our spirits. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (+).

 

Closing Prayer:

Dear gracious and holy Lord, on All Saints Day we remember and give thanks for all those who touched our lives with your grace and truth, bringing forth light to our dark places, and we look forward to our blessed homecoming and promise of peace and eternal life in you. Amen.

 

Benediction:  May the holiness of this festival day and its light of hope, give us the vision of the saints to guide us and shine forth the light of Christ forever. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn   "For all Your Saints, O Lord"  (#176 LBW)  or 'O Light Whose Splendor Thrills (#728 WOV)



Baptismal Affirmation during Lighting of Advent Candles


Invocation
: O God be with us as we make this journey of Advent. Help us to prepare for your coming as we listen to your Word, magnify your name in singing, and become more aware of your brilliant light. Amen.

 

Song/Hymn:  "O Come, O Come Emanuel or other favorite Christmas carols

 

Scripture Readings: Read appointed scripture texts from Lectionary for each of the four Sundays in Advent

 

Reflection:  Discuss each Sunday's Theme and name of candle

First Sunday = Prophecy candle = The Promise

Second Sunday = Angel's candle = The Preparation

Third Sunday = Bethlehem candle = The Waiting

Fourth Sunday = Shepherd's candle = The Promise Fulfilled

Discuss the people of Christmas and how did they prepare for Christ's birth?

Discuss ways to celebrate the birth of Christ without getting caught into the commercialism of Christmas. Make some definite plans.

 

Baptismal Affirmation:

(Use baptismal bowls for receiving sign of the cross with water)

"Renew us in our baptismal calling to repent and prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. Cleanse us from our habits of greed or selfishness,  and set us free to truly rejoice in the newborn love of Jesus, the one true light of the world. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (+) Amen."

 

Blessing: "May the God who stirs up hope within us help us to prepare for the coming of Jesus and remember whose birthday we are about to celebrate."

Amen.

 

Activity: End time with baking Christmas goodies or decorating or collecting toys and clothing to be given away to local charity.



Baptismal Affirmation for St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, Day – Dec. 6th

 

   Gather around baptismal bowl and Advent wreath – light appropriate candle(s)

   Also have selected books on St. Nicholas and other resources.

  Another tradition is to place small gifts in each other’s shoes.

 

Invocation  Welcome to this day for remembering St. Nicholas and his example of generosity and kindness. May it be a chance for us to affirm our baptismal calling to share our many God-given gifts with others.

 

Opening Prayer “Gracious God, we thank you for the witness of St. Nicholas and how he helps us to prepare to celebrate your coming by remembering to share our wealth and care for those who are in need. In the Spirit of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

 

Sing a Song (see Alternatives for Mike Sherer’s rendition of “The Song of St. Nicholas” sang to the tune of “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”) – I could include words.

 

Reflection/Meditation/Activity  - Read or tell story of St. Nicholas.

Create an impromptu drama about the story. Draw pictures of what you think he looked like. Develop and then play a question and answer game on who was St. Nicholas and what he did.

 Discuss and decide how to honor the memory and mission of 

St. Nicholas in your preparations and celebration of Christmas this year.

 

Scripture Readings: After hearing the story of St. Nicholas, select what scripture you feel seems to fit his understanding of Christ’s mission. What do you think were St. Nicholas’ favorite scripture verses or stories?

 

Ritual Action/Baptismal Affirmation

 As we live out our baptismal covenant we are called to:

“to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the world.” (Affirmation of Baptism, LBW, p. 201)

Is it your desire  to renew and reaffirm your commitment to fulfill these promises?

Response: I do and I ask God to help and guide me.

Let us remember and affirm God’s baptismal grace that will empower to keep these promises and follow the example of Christ revealed to us in the witness of St. Nicholas.  In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (+).

(Each one dips finger into bowl and traces sign of the cross on forehead or worship leader does it for participants).

 

Closing Prayers/Benediction

Closing Song

 

Follow-up with fellowship or recreational activity.

 

 

Baptismal Affirmation for Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning

(Before opening of presents and gift-giving time)

 

Place baptismal bowl next to Advent wreath on table closest to presents.

Light Christmas/Christ candle and use evergreen branch for sprinkling of water.

 

Invocation: Let us celebrate the joy of Christmas and thank God for the precious gift of all, the love of Jesus that came to earth to dwell among us.

May the light of Christ shine brightly in our world and in our lives as we share our love for each other and for all of God's children. In the joy of God's grace, Christ's love and the Holy Spirit's joy.

All: Amen

Opening Prayer:  Oh everlasting and ever living Lord, we rejoice in your many gifts on this day. The gifts of home and family, the gift of being able to express our love for each other through these presents.

Yet, we chiefly thank you for the gift of Jesus and how his love changes everything. Help us to remember whose birthday we celebrate this day so that we keep our hearts fixed on the treasure of Jesus and not upon material things or the temptation of greed. Inspire us by the gift giving of your Son to willingly share our resources of time, talents and treasures that all people may know the abundance of your grace and love.

In Christ’s name, Amen.

 

Select one of more Christmas carols to sing

 

Suggested Scripture Reading: 

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 

 I John 4: 7,11

Or read the Christmas story from one of the gospels.

 

Silent Meditation:   

Share what these gifts are meant to express.

Discuss what kind of gifts have you given to Jesus in honor of his birthday this Christmas (or how you plan to share future gifts).

If you could give the world a special present, what would it be?

(These questions could be done as a quick and fun guessing game:

 write down your answers, put them in a bowl and then pull them out at random, read them aloud and try to guess who wrote each answer)

 

Baptismal Affirmation and Ritual Action:  Select someone from the family (perhaps the youngest) to dip evergreen branch into the baptismal bowl and sprinkles those present saying: “Jesus was born for you, for you are God’s own precious child. Remember your baptism and the joy of Christmas love.”

Response: “Thanks be to God!”

 

Closing Blessing: May God's gift of Jesus make our hearts always eager to give and receive in the spirit of love.  Amen.

 

The Passing of Christmas joy and peace

 


Baptismal Affirmation for St. Patrick’s Day

 March 17th (or to be used on Sunday prior to March 17th)

 

Place baptismal bowl on table with candles. If possible surround bowl with three leave clovers (shamrocks) and invite participant to dress in green.

Conclude affirmation with a St. Patrick’s Day Party, sharing some green goodies and green cool aid or milk (or for adults - green beer).

 

Word of Welcome (Invocation):

LET US GATHER IN THE NAME OF THE TRINITY, THREE IN ONE, MIGHTY STRENGTH AND SOURCE OF ALL INSPIRATION TO LIVE ON FAITH AND PRACTICE DIVINE LOVE. AMEN

 

Leader: Today we remember and give thanks for the witness of faith shown to us in St. Patrick,  389A.D.- 461A.D., who brought the gospel of Christ to the people of Ireland. Even though he was taken into captivity and treated as a slave during his first experience in Ireland, after he escaped, St. Patrick responded to God’s calling and returned out of love for the people of Ireland, and in doing so he revealed the love that goes beyond hatred or revenge, and turns enemies into friends.

 

Scripture readings:  Mark 8:34-38 (which is included in the Gospel reading for this Sunday – March 16th ) “If anyone want to become my follower, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

 

Optional scripture reading:  Matthew 5:38-44  Jesus’ teaching on praying for those who persecute you and loving our enemies.

 

Silent Meditation:  Take time to consider who might be your “enemy” or someone you feel wronged by. How can you show them the love of Christ and share the gospel of Christ in a way that will change your relationship into one of friendship?

 

Let us join together in prayer by using “St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer”

                          

Prayer by Saint Patrick                            

 

At Tara today in this fateful hour

I place all heaven with its power,

And the sun with its brightness,

And the snow with its whiteness,

And fire with all the strength it has,

And lightning with its rapid wrath,

And the winds with their swiftness,

And the sea with its deepness,

And the rocks with their steepness,

And the Earth with its starkness;

All these I place

By God’s almighty help and grace,

Between myself and the powers of Darkness.

 

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in all three,

Yet through confession of the oneness

Of the Creator of creation.

 

I arise today

Through the strength of heaven;

Light of sun, radiance of moon,

Splendor of fire, speed of lightning,

Swiftness of wind, depth of sea,

Stability of earth, firmness of rock.

 

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in all three,

Yet through confession of the oneness

Of the Creator of creation.

 

Baptismal Affirmation Ritual:

In the Spirit of St. Patrick’s witness of faith and compassion, let us affirm our baptismal vocation to be missionaries for the sake of the gospel and ambassadors for Christ’s love to all people everywhere


Remember you are a beloved Child of God, called to be a witness to the love of Christ, and baptized in the name of the Blessed Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit +  (dip water on finger and make sign of the cross – or sprinkle water with the shamrocks).

 

Take time to explain that St. Patrick liked to use the example of the shamrock to teach about the Trinity; just as the shamrock has three distinct leaves and there is one plant, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three Persons in one Supreme Being. Using the shamrock to teach about the mystery of God appealed to the imagination of the Irish people.  What images would you use to help provoke and stir up our creative imagination in understanding the mystery of God?

 

Closing Hymn  “O Christ the Same”   #778   With One Voice     (sang to the favorite Irish melody “O Danny Boy”)

 

Benediction         “May the Lord bless you….”

 

 

Baptismal Affirmation for Valentine's Day

(Feb. 14th or Sunday closest to that date)

 

Valentine's Day is named after a century named Valentine in Rome, who according to tradition, took a stance against the Emperor's ruling that men in the army could not marry. He was imprisoned and while there befriended the jailer's daughter who was blind. In "some traditions, she brought him food and he prayed for her and she was able to see again. Afterwards, he sent the girl a letter, thanking her for her kindness, signed "From your dear Valentine".

 

Invocation: Let us affirm the love that gives our lives meaning and fulfillment. In the name of the one whose love is eternal,

All: Amen

Opening Prayer: Dear source of all love, you have shown us how to love each other through your Son, Jesus. May we ever be grateful for your gift of love. We pray for your love to so fill our hearts that it will overflow into all our relationships, that our love might be always true and genuine. In Christ's name, Amen.

Scripture Reading:

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. I John 4: 7,11

 

Reflection:

Picture in your mind someone who you love. Imagine holding their hand and tell them that you love them.

Share specific things that you appreciate about them....

Share how God has blessed your life through their love for you....

 

Baptismal Affirmation Ritual: Select a partner, each takes a turn and with the water from the baptismal bowl traces the sign of the cross upon your partner's forehead saying: "You are God's own precious child, you shall always dwell in God's loving embrace."

 

*** During Baptismal Affirmation may sing one or more songs: Suggested selections: #749 When love is Found (With One Voice) #315 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (LBW) #94 My Song is Love Unknown

 

Closing Blessing: May God continue to pour love into us, so that we might grow in our love for one another and for the Lord of love! Amen

 

The Passing of Christ's peace



Baptismal Affirmation for Mother’s Day
(2nd Sun. in May)

 

Word of Welcome

“Let us rejoice this day in the precious gift of motherhood and for those mothers who with their arms they have held us and given us the example of how to love.”

 

Opening Prayer:

“Dear Mother God, from the beginning of time you have set aside mothers to give life, comfort, encouragement and guidance to their children. Today we remember the challenging task of motherhood, both the blessings and heartbreaks, and thank you for all that we have received from our mothers and their faithful love.  Amen.”

 

Scripture Reading:

Ephesians 6:2-3

Matt. 23:37

 

Suggested Hymn: 

“Now I thank our God”

 

Reflection/Meditation:

How would you describe what a mother’s love means to you?

What are you most thankful for when it comes to the gifts your mother has given you?

What do you think we should pray when it comes to the task of motherhood?

 

Baptismal Affirmation Ritual

            Use a rose or flower to dip into water and gently sprinkle participants; “Recall and renew the power of your baptismal love, that by it God promises to hold you close, just as a mother holds her child, protecting and sheltering us by God’s eternal source of love.”

 

Closing Prayer/Benediction:

“We thank you God for the presence and loving support of our mothers in our world and how through them you have loved us and given us life. Always bless them with your faithful and abundant love. Amen.”

Closing Hymn: 

For all the Faithful Women # 692  With One Voice (use alternative tune)



Baptismal Affirmation for Father’s Day
(3rd Sun. in June)

 

Word of Welcome:

“Let us rejoice this day in the precious gift of fatherhood and for those fathers who have guide our lives with their example of faithfulness and love.”

 

Opening Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, from the beginning of time you have set aside fathers to give comfort, encouragement and guidance to their children. Today we remember the challenging task of fatherhood, both the blessings and heartbreaks, and thank you for all that we have received from our fathers and their faithful love.  Amen.”

 

Scripture Reading:

Ephesians 6:2-3

Luke 15:11-32 (story of the Prodigal Son/Abundant love of the Father)

 

Suggested Hymns:

Faith of our Fathers

This is my Father’s World

 

Reflection/Meditation

How would you describe what a father’s love means to you?

What are you most thankful for when it comes to the gifts your father has given you?

What do you think we should pray when it comes to the task of fatherhood?

 

Baptismal Affirmation Ritual:

Use a oak tree branch to dip into water and gently sprinkle participants; “Recall and renew the power of your baptismal love, that by it God promises to support and guide you, just as a father’s love support and guides his child. May you always be strengthen by God’s eternal source of love.”

 

Closing Prayer/Benediction:

“We thank you God for the presence and loving support of our fathers in our world and how through them you have loved us and given us life. Always bless them with your faithful and abundant love. Amen.”

 

Closing Hymn:  Children of the Heavenly Father