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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR THE CHRISTENING OF CHILDREN


"For by one Spirit are we all Baptised into one body."

1 Cor: 12, 13.

**Baptism is not to be regarded merely as a ceremony devised for the Christian naming of infants. It is a sacrament, in which the children are brought publicly to be Baptised, and to be received into the Church of Christ; and in which they are brought into the Spiritual Presence of God, in order that they may receive His Holy Blessing. It is a service of consecration and dedication, of faith and thanksgiving and worship of God.

**Baptising with flowers and the giving of Spirit names to children, are sometimes favoured, but it should be regarded only as an addition to the ceremony of baptising by water, which symbolises the Divine Power of the Holy Spirit, to be as a sure protection for the years that lie in front.

**Due notice should be given to the Church of any children requiring to be Baptised. It may be convenient for the ceremony to be quite separate from the ordinary Church services, or it can immediately precede or immediately follow, the Sunday Divine Service. In the case of the latter, the Parents and godparents can bring in the child during the singing of the last hymn. In the case of godparents, it is customary to appoint two god-fathers and one godmother for a male child; and two godmothers and one godfather for a female child. It is usual in these cases for the child to be brought into the Church and presented and named by the godparents. Whilst the practice of having godparents to stand as the spiritual guardians of the child has largely fallen into disuse, and is not obligatory, it is nevertheless good, and to be encouraged. Seats should be reserved for those taking part conveniently near the place of Baptising, either the font or holy table, and a vessel of freshly drawn water placed in readiness. In Winter the water should be warmed. Before the ceremony commences, the name of each child in full, with the date of birth, and the names of both parents, should be given in writing to the Minister.

**After the Service, a Certificate of Baptism should be made out by the Minister and handed to the parents. A suitable register should be kept by the Church of all Baptisms performed. (Church registers and Baptismal Certificates can be obtained from the Greater World Spiritual Centre, 3-5 Conway Street, London W1P 5HA Telephone: 0207 436 7555 Fax: 0207 580 3485 ).


**The Minister, meeting the parents and godparents at the font in the Church, will open the Service by reading the parable of the Good Shepherd:

St John 10: 11-16

Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine.

As the Father knoweth Me even so know I the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one Fold, and one Shepherd.

**Then follows the Lord's prayer, and the Minister will say:

LET US PRAY

Beginning with the Lord's Prayer:

OUR FATHER, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. When in temptation, Thy Love sustains us, and deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. For ever and ever. Amen.

OUR GOD and Father, we turn to Thee with thankful hearts for these Thy children and their child. They, expressing their nearness to Thee in this trinity of love, bring the miracle sent from Thee, to be dedicated in loving homage to the One Who gave it.

HELP them, O Father, that they may be wise and patient and understanding in the unfoldment of the infant mind, and the care of the growing body. Give them courage in times of difficulty, and self-denial in bringing up their child; and so bless them, drawing them very close to Thyself, that they may give of their best and ever dwell in love under Thy protection. Amen.

O SAVIOUR Christ, we humbly ask Thee to enfold in Thy protection this little one. Surround him/her with Thy radiance, shower upon him/her Thy spiritual strength and be very near to him/her; so that he/she may hear Thy voice and follow Thy call. Open his/her eyes to the beauty of Spirit, and help him/her as he/she grows to see that beauty in all Thy Creation.

WE pray Thee to inspire his/her spiritual helpers so that they may hold his/her safety and his/her well-being in truth and under Thy guidance.

O THOU Who wast a little child, knowing a child's sorrows and joys, be Thou his/her Companion in play, in sleep, in wakefulness, and in all his/her growing days; and be his/her Friend most dear, to understand, to console, and to bless. Amen.


Because of copyright issues, a portion of each Church Service has been removed.
However, it is possible to acquire a new Book of Services from:
Bookshop of the Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association (G.W.C.S.A.)


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