Today we celebrate the blessing and naming of . His parents, and wish to share with him the ideals and experiences of their traditions. They will give him excellent values to live by throughout his life. We look at this ceremony as 's entrance into life as a member of his people. It is the hope of his parents that their traditions and values will give him a sense of self, of belonging, of hope, and of participation in the continuing evolution of humanity. and thank you for sharing the joy of this great occasion.
God and Creator, Source of all life. We thank You for the countless blessings you have given us. We thank You especially for the sacred joy and privilege of parenthood and family which adds profound meaning and purpose to our existence. This happy family has come into Your presence with grateful hearts. Give them the wisdom to teach this child to be faithful to You, O God, that he may grow up with the knowledge that You are always near to him, guiding and sustaining him. Keep open his eyes and spirit that he may be ever conscious of the beauty and goodness that is in man and woman, that he may ever nourish the goodness that has been implanted in him.
Though none can escape sorrow and pain, we humbly ask for him the courage to face evil, the faith to transcend it, and the strength to subdue it. Grant him health of mind and of body, that he may enjoy the fullness of years and live to do your will in faithfulness. Amen.
When asked about children, Kahlil Gibran wrote: "Your children are not your children, They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite. And bends you with His might, that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."
and , give unconditional love, a love that is not dependent on report cards, clean hands, or popularity. Give him acceptance of his human frailties as well as his abilities and virtues. Give him permission to make his own life independent of yours. Give him truth, make him aware of himself as a citizen of the universe where there are many obstacles as well as fulfillments. Bestow upon the blessings of God. These are the laws of honoring your child. From these laws will be built the Declaration of Independence for the coming generation, a spiritual and emotional independence that, in turn, will make the world, free, tolerant, and safe.
PARENTS (Repeat): In conformity with hallowed observances, we present our child to be blessed and named. Blessed are You, O spirit of life, our God, who has sanctified us by your commandments, and commanded us to raise our son and bring him to be a blessing to all.
Our God, God of our Mothers and our Fathers! Sustain this child through his parents' loving care. Let him be known among the people of Israel by the name of : , in English, . May his name be a source of joy to him, and inspire him to serve all people and all humankind. May his parents and his family rejoice in his growth of body and soul. May they, with wisdom and patience, lead him to love of learning, a life of good deeds, and to a marriage worthy of God's blessing. And let us say, Amen.
May God who blessed our ancestors, bless this child. May his parents have the privilege of raising him, educating him, and encouraging him to attain wisdom. May his hands and his heart be faithful in serving God. And let us say, Amen.
Say Kiddush. (Wine touched to child's lips, then parents and grandparents share from cup.)
(Blessing by Officiant in Hebrew, by guests in English):
Officiant reads certificate.
(Benediction: in Hebrew and English)
May God bless you and keep you.
May God's face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God's countenance lift up unto you, and give you the greatest of all gifts: Shalom! A life of peace in a world of peace.
Submitted by Barbara Niles
The Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families is also available in PDF or Word formats.