(For the safety of the child, she will not be identified.)
Minister: We gather today to give our welcome, thanks, and support in an act of dedication of E. E. G-B.
We welcome this child with joy and wonder at the miracle of life, and embrace her as a member of the community of humankind by formally giving her her name.
We humbly thank the Spirit of Life which brought her forth and bestowed her upon her family and the world for a blessing.
And we pledge our support to her parents, godparents, and families, recognizing that we all have the power and responsibility to shape her world.
Will E. and her family and godparents please come forward?
E. and L., what do you name this child?
Parents: E. E.
Minister: E., your name is one that your parents chose because of its lovely sound; it has also been in your family for some time. Your great-grandmother died just two weeks before you were born, and now you are carrying her name into the future. Your middle name is for your father’s mother’s name. Your last name carries both your mother’s and your father’s family names. All of these names connect you to your family and the past, the roots that will hold you close. And from now and into the future, the names will become what you make of them. May your life make them a blessing to the world.
Minister: L. and E., E. is not only your daughter but also the child of Life itself. To you is entrusted the sacred joy and privilege of guiding her life in all its possibilities and teaching her to recognize her own path, hoping that she will find her own truth and live her life according to her spiritual ideals.
Do you, then, promise to the best of your ability, by your example, your teaching and your affection, to raise E. in the ways of truth, beauty and love?
Parents: We do.
Minister: What godparents have you chosen to support you and E. as she grows?
Parents: K. and A. H.
Minister: K. and A., you have the solemn and happy duty to be E.’s godparents. She is very lucky to have you to learn from, and celebrate with, and trust. Do you promise to give her and her parents your love and support, nurturing her in freedom, and teaching her by your example to live a good and happy life?
God-Parents: We do.
(touching a bit of earth to E.’s feet)
With earth, which is solid, I bless you. This earth is your home. May it symbolize your growing strength and stability, affirming your roots, grounding you in the realities of life. Embrace life and live fully.
(fanning the child gently with a feather)
With air, which is free, fresh, and renewing, I bless you. May you always feel free and adventurous, and go wherever your heart desires. May your imagination be wild and new.
(holding up a candle)
With fire, which is as bright and illuminating as your mind, I bless you. Think with great care, and learn to trust your mind as a tool to guide you in wisdom, courage, honesty and compassion. Balance your mind with the warmth of your heart and the intuition of your spirit.
(touching water to her heart with the rosebud)
This water was given and blessed by the members of this congregation at their ingathering this year. With water, which is as clear as your spirit, I bless you. May you always see clearly and be able to hear the still small voice inside. May you always be able to trust your feelings, and enjoy growth and change.
We ask these blessings for E., knowing that she will experience them if we live them ourselves. May we all live our lives in a way that will bless the lives of this child and her family.
(giving J. (her older sister) the rose to give to E.)
And now your sister J. will give you this rose. E., we wish for you that your life will unfold as beautifully as a rosebud. We are very happy to welcome you to the world!
Minister: Members and friends, adults, youth, and children of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, will you please rise as you are able?
No child grows up outside the influence of his community, and no parent raises a child alone. If our hopes for E. are to blossom, we must water them with love and commitment, creating the community for her that we wish to see flourish in her time.
Do you promise to freely and wisely love this child, to offer her your steady presence and best selves, to nurture and sustain her and her family as they learn and grow and change together?
Congregation: We do.
Minister: Blessings on this family!