Today one of my 2017 brides wrote me to learn more about my baby blessing ceremonies—and also, how they differed from baptisms. Well, I'm so glad she asked!
I use the word "blessings" to encompass the many motivations
I have officiated a blessing ceremony for an adoption to formally welcome the child into his new family and receive a blessing from his larger community, as well as acknowledge the gifts and challenges unique to adoption.
You can read a sample of that baby blessing here.
"My baby blessing was the most magical and meaningful ceremony of my life. Hannah folded my words with hers and created a blessing script that was unique and personal for me, my son, our family, and friends."
I've done a blessing ceremony for a nearly-three-year-old, honoring the journey she and her parents had already shared in their first years together, celebrating their family bond and blessing the child’s long life path to come.
You can read a sample of that baby blessing here.
"Hannah's presence along with the service she provided for my daughter's blessing was absolutely amazing! It was very heartfelt and unique! She puts all of her heart into the process and has really beautiful energy and grace."
Prayers, readings, songs and participation from parents, family members and friends can be included along with these rituals. Each blessing ceremony will be different because every person, child and circumstance is unique.
Each of the five rituals we wove into their ceremony held deep meaning and significance for them, but perhaps most important was the element of Earth, represented by their wedding rings. Imprinted with fingerprint-like swirls, their rings symbolized the joining of their lives; the foundation upon which they would build a new life and a new family, together.
Welcome to this world Althea Juniper.
We're so glad you're here!
Blessing for Margot, Adam and Baby
This child is Air – the breath of life, the sun of each day’s beginning. This child is the thread that weaves lovers, families, and friends together into your community.
This child is Spirit – pure spirit, made manifest. A luminous gift of grace, this child is a reminder of all that is good, seen and unseen, in this sweet and wondrous world.
This child is Fire – fierce and bright, a powerful force of creation. This child will challenge you to start anew, again and again and again, ever at the threshold of the unknown.
This child is Water – the greatest teacher of strength in fluidity. This child will quench your deepest thirst, for this being will fill your heart like no other.
This child is Earth – the North Star, a compass for your navigation. This child is the manifestation of your love, the solid base upon which you’re building a family of your own.
As parents, you walk the path of co-creator in the sacred dance of creation. May you step joyfully into the dance, and may you feet carry you steadily on the journey!
"Maya, how old are you?" my sister asked. Maya answered in her little girl lisp, "I'm going to be 3 soon!" "When will you be 3?" my sister wondered. "On my birthday," Maya replied (as she has these last many months). "Well, today is your birthday so now you're 3." Maya was silent as she comprehended this fact, before a look of joy slowly spread across her face.
But then I met Maya, when she was still only a few days old, and my heart melted into a pool of love for her. I ached with the honor of being her godmother, of sharing between us such a special name. I wanted to do it all just right, including giving her her first piece of jewelry: a tiny silver baby bracelet hand engraved with her name.
I'd been charged with taking an extra special interest in Maya's life, with helping guide her through the terrain ahead, offering what wisdom and experience I have, or hopefully will have gained by the time she needs it. In the end, I decided to write Maya a letter for her blessing ceremony - my heartfelt wish and humble pledge.
It is a privilege to share the bond of our name, Grace, and the special meaning it carries. May Grace symbolize your connection to your family, to all the ancestors that have gone before you. May you know the Grace of being alive, of relationship and mystery and discovery, of challenge and accomplishment and change.
Most of all, Dear One, may you dwell in Grace. May you feel the Grace of God moving in you and through you, and may your long years on this earth be filled with that presence. Blessings upon you, sweet one, and blessed are we that will walk this journey with you. As your Godmother I will always be here beside you, to help you know Grace in every way that I can.
With all my love,
Into our midst has come a new and precious being! We give thanks for this miraculous life, this beautiful manifestation of love. We offer our blessings to this dear child, who fills our hearts with gladness, our minds with wonder and our souls with happiness. May her time upon the earth be long and joy-full, as she brings us joy, and may it be blessed with the gifts of Spirit, as we thank Spirit, with all our heart, for the gift of her presence in our lives.
Poetry and Musings of an Interfaith Minister on the Journey of a Lifetime.