Community of Christ

Baby Blessing Ideas

Of Such Is the Kingdom

Worship Setting

The focal point of the worship setting should include a simple vase containing roses, a child’s blackboard, and a couple of stuffed toys, and a framed picture of Jesus. The inscription on the chalkboard is this meditative thought for the service: "A child is God’s opinion that life should go on." —Carl Sandburg

We Come before Jesus

Prelude

Welcome

Hymn: "Gather Your Children"  CCS 77 OR "I Will Sing, I Will Sing”  CCS 112

Call to Worship: Mark 10:13–16 NIV®

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.

*Opening Hymn: "Creator of Sunrises”  CCS 207 OR "For the Beauty of the Earth"  CCS 130

*Invocation

*Response

We Prepare for Christ’s Blessing

Responsive Reading

Leader:  The innocence and love found in the face of a child…this is a reflection of God.

Congregation: Of such is the kingdom.

Leader: Tiny fingers wrapped around an adult’s; soft sighing as the babe falls asleep; a smile that shines from its heart…this is a reflection of God.

Congregation:  Of such is the kingdom.

Leader: A tiny baby named Jesus came into our broken world who changed everything…this is a reflection of God.

Congregation: Of such is the kingdom.

Leader: To love unconditionally. To forgive easily. To share without reservation…this is a reflection of God.

Congregation:  Of such is the kingdom. We tell you the truth; we must become as that tiny child. For we are called to change our world with the power of God’s love.

Hymn: "The Vision of a Life to Be"  CCS 487 OR "Lord, Let Your Spirit Come”  CCS 489

Disciples’ Generous Response

Scripture meditation: Mark 9:36–37 NIV®

He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

Blessing and Offering of Mission Tithes

We Bring the Child(ren)

The Charge to the Parents, Family, and Congregation

The Sacrament of Blessing

Congregational Hymn: "If by Your Grace I Choose to Be"  CCS 587 OR "Lord To You We Bring Our Children”  CCS 488

We Will Be a Community of Love, Joy, Hope, and Peace

Statements of love and support from the congregation

At the conclusion of these statements, the presider should take the vase with the roses and present flowers to the parents.

We Leave United in His Love

*Sending Forth Hymn: "Sent Forth by God’s Blessing"  CCS 648 OR "The Trees of the Field”  CCS 645

*Sending Forth

For he took us in his arms, touched us with his Spirit, and blessed each one during this service of blessing for one of our tiniest children. Go forth. Be that tender love of the Master’s hand in your homes, at work, among your neighbors, and in your community. May God bless you. Amen.

*Postlude

The Gift of Life

The Gathering

Music for Meditation

Statement of Welcome

Call to Worship:

"O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures…These all look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take their breath away, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground."—Psalm 104, NRSV

*Congregational Hymn: "O Master to All Children Dear"  CCS 488

*Invocation

*Response

A Celebration of Life

Reflection on the Blessing of ___________

If this is a blessing service for a baby with older siblings an opportunity can be provided here to recognize the other children in the family and the blessing they are.

Responsive Reading

First Reader:   in the beginning
there is a child
and that child continues in us all

ALL:   we are that child
and when we accept this
discovery
the child develops
and teaches us
up through time

Second Reader:  the child is father and mother of us all
this is both fact
and the beginning of wisdom
each new birth is the introduction
within the universe
of a brand-new source
of creative energy
genetic history coupled with creative possibility
it is in this crack
that seeds split and send forth tender shoots
that yesterday opens to tomorrow…

Third Reader:   consider
the childish world of dreams
where images lunge
and grow and move
in kaleidoscopic wonder
where ought and should
become perhaps and maybe
where shadows leap and dance
where alligators smile
and everything is possible
fancy is king
and fantasy leads
imperceptibly
but surely
into the real of tomorrow

First Reader:   the child is in us all
and the child in us
has long since died
it is just too hard to dream
and dreaming leads to wispy sometimes
and besides
we have been proudly taught
concrete reason is the mature alternative
and dreaming is a childish thing…

ALL:   the child is parent of us all

Fourth Reader:  can we then deny
or allow a child to be denied
the power of affection
the risk of love
the need to understand
and to be understood
Fifth Reader:   can we then deny
urgent demands for nourishment
the chance to know
the wonders of the universe
through experience and education
to have a name
to call some particular place a home
to have a chance

ALL:   the child is parent of us all
I celebrate
the child in me
and out of me
for it is written
after all
"a little child shall lead them"

Adapted from Joe Pearson, "Reflections on the Year of the Child," Children: Of Such Is the Kingdom, Herald House, 1979.)      Source: Worship Resources for the Sacraments, edited by Judy Judd.

A Celebration of _________through slides and music

Celebrate the life of this child through a short series of slides set to music.

Confession and Affirmation

Statement to ___________from parents

The parents, individually or one parent representing both, express the hopes and dreams they have for the life of their child through a statement addressed to the child.

The Word

The Story of Jesus Blessing the Children

Children in the congregation are invited to gather to hear the story presentation. They may then remain in a group to share in the sacrament of blessing together.

Reflections on the Sacrament of Blessing

Congregational Hymn: "The Vision of a Life to Be”  CCS 487

The Sacrament of Blessing

_________will be blessed by____________

Response to the Word

Time of Congregational Sharing

What hopes and wishes would you extend to __________?

On what occasions have you perceived or experienced life as a gift?

Offertory

The Sending Forth

*Congregational Hymn: "Of All the Spirit’s Gifts to Me”  CCS 45 OR: "Weave”  CCS 327

*Prayer of Benediction

*Response

*Postlude

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