Our Lord Jesus Christ said :
Let the children come to Me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
The Apostle Peter said :
Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and for your children …
Acts 2:38, 39
The Apostle Paul wrote :
Your children … are holy.
1 Corinthians 7:14
Moses the man of God said :
Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments which I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Then the minister says:
Christian friends, seeing that everyone is born with a sinful nature and because our Saviour said that no one can enter God’s Kingdom unless he is born again from above, let us together earnestly pray to God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that He will mercifully grant this child that which by nature he or she cannot have; that he or she may be born of the Holy Spirit and be made a living member of Christ’s holy church.
Let us pray together :
Almighty and everlasting God, as you saved Noah and his family in the ark from perishing in the judgment of the flood, we pray You, for Your infinite mercy, to look graciously upon this child, was him or her and sanctify him or her with the Holy Spirit, that he or she delivered from Your righteous anger may be received into the ark of Christ’s Church, and grant that firm in faith, joyful in hope, and rooted in love, he or she may so pass over the waves of this troubled world, that finally he or she may come to the land of everlasting life, there to reign with You for ever and ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and immortal God, we pray for this child that you will receive him or her, as you have promised by Your beloved Son who said :
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”. So give now to us who ask, let us who seek find, open the door to us who knock, that this child may enjoy the everlasting blessing of Your heavenly cleansing and may come to the eternal kingdom which You have promised by Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hear the word of God as it is written in the tenth chapter of Mark’s gospel, beginning at verse thirteen :
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have Him touch them but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this He was indignant. He said to them : Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these, I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them.
You have heard in this reading from God’s word that Jesus gladly received the children of God’s people that He commended them, that He rebuked those that kept them from Him and that He openly showed His love for them, when He embraced them in His arms, laid His hands on them and blessed them. We need therefore not doubt but confidently believe that He will receive this child which we bring to Him in prayer; that He will embrace him or her with the arms of His mercy; that He will give him or her the blessing of eternal life and make him or her a partaker of His everlasting kingdom. Therefore, let us give thanks to God, and say together :
Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, we give You humble thanks that You have called us to the knowledge of Your grace and faith in You. Increase this knowledge and confirm this faith in us more and more. Give Your Holy Spirit to this child that he or she may be born again and be made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
The minister says to the parents and godparents:
Christian friends, you have prayed that our Lord Jesus Christ will graciously receive this child, deliver him or her from his or her sins, fill him or her with the Holy Spirit and give him or her the kingdom of heaven and everlasting life.
Our Lord has promised to answer prayers which we offer in His name, and this promise He for His part will surely keep. For Your part you must live in conformity with your prayers by setting this child the example of Christian lives and Christian homes. You must continue in your prayers for him or her in the years ahead and instruct him or her in the word of God and Christian faith and hope. Will you do this ?
Answer : We will, the Lord being our helper.
Minister : This child, for his or her part, must also faithfully promise by you who are his or her sureties, until he or she comes of age to take the promise for himself or herself, that he or she will renounce the devil and all His works, firmly believe God’s holy word and obediently keep His commandments.
I ask therefore: Do you in the name of this child renounce the devil and all his works, the empty display, greed and false values of the world, and the sinful desires of the flesh, so that You will not follow them or be led by them ?
Answer: I renounce them all.
Minister: Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth ? And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son our Lord? And that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; that He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; that He went down into hell, and also rose again the third day; that He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from there will come again at the end of the world, to judge the living and the dead ? And do you believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ’s holy universal church; the fellowship of Christians; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and everlasting life after death ?
Answer: All this I firmly believe.
Minister: Will you be baptized into this faith ?
Answer: This is my desire.
Minister: Will you them obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments and serve Him faithfully all your life ?
Answer: I will.
Minister: Merciful God, grant that the old nature in this child may be so buried that the new man may be raised up in him or her.
Minister: Grant that all sinful desires may die in him or her and that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in him or her.
Minister: Grant that he or she may have power and strength to win the victory and to triumph against the devil, the world and his or her own sinful nature.
Minister: Grant that he or she who is here dedicated to You may be granted heavenly grace and be everlastingly rewarded, through Your mercy, blessed Lord God who governs all things for ever and ever.
The minister takes the child and asks the godparents his or her name. He first names it and then
baptizes it in water, and saying :
I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We receive this child into the congregation of Christ’s flock and sign him or her with the sign of the cross (here the minister makes a cross on the child’s forehead) to show that he or she will not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified and fight bravely against sin, the world and the devil and continue to be Christ’s faithful follower and servant till his or her life’s end. Amen.
Let us pray together
We give you heartfelt thanks, most merciful Father that You hear our prayers made in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to regenerate this child with Your Holy Spirit, to receive him or her for Your own child by adoption and to include him or her in Your holy Church. We pray that he or she may die to sin and live to righteousness, being crucified with Christ and raised with Him, and that with the rest of Christ’s holy church, he or she may inherit Your everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your Son Jesus shared at Nazareth the life of a godly home; may this child be brought up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Bless every family here. Help parents to teach the knowledge of Your love and righteousness. Help children to respond with love and obedience. May our homes be blessed with Your presence, and filled with faith, hope and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The grace said together :
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen.