Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Naming Ritual

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." The name Jesus was given to the child of Mary, the Son of God, as a sign of salvation for all people. the naming of this child reminds us of God's care for him and helps us remember this child's coming among us.

Then, addressing the parent/s, the leader asks:
What do you name your child?
Parent/s respond: Her/his name is _____________.
Parent/s or others may comment on the significance of the name.

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God: and that is what we are. The reasons the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do knowi s this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. (1 John 3:1-2)

God, our creator, you called into being this fragile life, which had seemed to us so full of promise. Give to __________, whom we commit to your care, abundant life in your presence, and to us who grieve, courage to bear our loss; through jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Heavenly father, your love for all children is strong and enduring. We were not able to know this child as we hoped. Yet you knew him growing in his mother's womb, and he is not lost to you. In the midst of our sadness, we thank you that ______ is with you now, and with you forever.

Merciful God, you grant children an abundant entrance into your kingdom. In your compassion, comfort those who mourn for _______, and all who mourn the death of children. Be gentle with them in their grief, and reveal to them the wideness of your mercy. Deliver them from all despair and guilt. Grant us grace so that one day, united with _______ and with all your children, we may stand in your presence in the fullness of joy; for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. AMEN

_______, Child of God, we entrust you to the arms of God's mercy.

Almighty God, who formed us all out of the dust of the earth, receive you in peace.

Christ, the Good Shepherd, enfold you with his tender care.

God the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, bear you to life in God's new creation.

May you dwell forever in the paradise of God. AMEN

(From Evangelical Lutheran Worship, When a Child Dies before or at Birth)


Jennifer said...

It's beautiful, but why are you posting this now, on your blog? What have I missed?

Diane said...

did this service with a family from my church yesterday. can't say more about it right now.

Mompriest said...

a really important ritual to offer grieving parents. Thank you for sharing this...

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oh diane... what tearful and tender ministry. prayers for you... as you provide care, and grieve with them.

Jennifer said...

You are an amazing pastor. These are some of the hardest moments in ministry, without a doubt.