At The Birth of a Child
At Chudleigh Parish Church we would be delighted to help you celebrate this joyful time, as well as supporting you in the challenges that a new child can bring!
In terms of a service to mark this great moment, there are 2 main alternatives in the Church of England:
1) A Service of Thanksgiving For The Gift of A Child
This service is an opportunity for parents, families and friends to give thanks to God for the birth of a child and to pray for family life.
It can be held within a regular service or on a separate occasion. The service can include readings, prayers, music, the giving of a Gospel, and a blessing of the child.
Friends and family can take part in the service. It is possible to have ‘significant friends’ involved in a special way with parents, to express a particular on-going supportive role they are to have in the child’s life.
Unlike at a baptism, parents and others do not make a profession of Christian faith, or make promises to bring up their child as a Christian, within the family of the church.
Thus the ‘service of thanksgiving’ can be particularly suitable for those who may be unsure about making the promises contained in the baptism service.
Some idea of the options for the content of the service can be found here, on page 16 onwards: http://www.churchofengland.org/media/41171/ciritesontheway.pdf
2) A Service of Baptism
A baptism service involves a deeper commitment than a service of thanksgiving. It is an expression of Christian commitment by the parents and godparents for themselves and on behalf of the child.
The service marks the entry of the child into the Christian faith and the shared life of the church, both locally and worldwide. For this reason, baptisms take place on a Sunday morning, within the regular worship of the Christian family.
In a baptism, parents and godparents promise that they will ‘pray for the child’ and ‘help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s church’.
Parents and godparents also publicly affirm their own faith in Christ and in the creeds of the Christian faith. They make professions and promises to God, which should not be made lightly.
Godparents make the same promises as the parents and so should be chosen for their sincere Christian beliefs, as well as being the sort of people that a child could model their life upon.
The baptism part of the service is based on the words that you can find here, from page 80: http://www.churchofengland.org/media/41165/cibaptismandconf.pdf
The church believes that baptism and bringing up a child as a Christian and as part of the church are the best spiritual start that a child can be given in life.
We put into our church programme opportunities for baptism during the year:
To find out more…
If you would like to find out more about having a service of thanksgiving or a baptism for your child, please come along to Messy Church to have an introductory conversation with one of our preparation team and to see what the church offers families at Messy Church. When you arrive, let the people on the welcome table know that you would like to speak to someone during the afternoon.
Messy Church takes place in church on Saturdays, 3.30pm-5.30pm
Follow this link for dates and further details of what is going on in Messy Church click here.
We will also invite you to our Sunday worship and to a baptism preparation meeting in order to help you make the most of the opportunities ahead for your child and your family.
We look forward to meeting you.