March 2002: Baptism of Nat Rose
morning service at st. mary's ealing, 3rd march 2002.
on arrival everyone gets a service pack:
self-seal bags [like freezer bags] contain:
a small stone
a 'roses' chocolate
an order of service
a grace flyer
this is the order of service:
Intro: [Mike Rose]
God is here. His spirit is with us. We invite each other to use the environment, the visuals, the music and the words, to stimulate our thoughts and draw our hearts to wonder at the goodness of God. Invite God to meet us as we seek to meet God. This is our worship. God is here. His spirit is with us.
Today as we celebrate the baptism of Nat, we will consider Jesus' baptism and our own. We will also think about how Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness after he had been baptised.
But first a moment of quiet and we will start the service with a short prayer:
Before there was even light in creation your spirit moved upon the waters.
Now, we ask again that your Spirit be here.
A reading from the Bible: [Jenny]
Matthew 3:13 - 4:1
Preparation: [Mike Rose]
Consider these words from Isaiah:
But now, this is what the Lord says -
he who created you, O Jacob
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you."
We thank God therefore for our baptism to life in Christ, and we pray for this child and say together:
Heavenly Father, in your love you have called us to know you, led us to trust you, and bound our life with yours.
Surround Nat with your love, protect him from evil; fill him with your Holy Spirit and receive him into the family of Your Church that he may walk with us in the way of Christ and grow in the knowledge of your love.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Ritual of confession [Steve Collins]
[the Labyrinth station 3 stone-dropping ritual - there will be buckets at both ends of the church]
The responsibilities of baptism: [Steve P]
The baptism group is invited to stand around the font. The minister speaks first to the congregation:
Faith is the gift of God to his people. In baptism the Lord is adding to our number those whom he is calling. People of God, will you welcome Nat and uphold him in his new life in Christ?
With the help of God, we will.
The minister then says to the parents and godparents:
Parents and godparents, the Church receives Nat with joy. Today we are trusting God for his growth in faith. Will you pray for him, draw him by your example into the community of faith and walk with him in the way of Christ?
With the help of God, we will.
In baptism Nat begins his journey in faith. You speak for him today. Will you care for him, and help him to take his place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?
With the help of God, we will.
The decision to follow Christ: [Steve P]
The minister addresses Nat through his parents and godparents.
In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light. To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him. Therefore I ask:
Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them.
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them.
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them.
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ.
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ.
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ.
Signing with the cross: [Steve P]
The minister makes the sign of the cross on Nat’s forehead, saying:
Christ claims you for his own.
Receive the sign of his cross.
Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ
against sin, the world and the devil,
and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.
The prayer over the water: [everyone]
God of grace, thankyou for the gift of water
which quenches our thirst and washes us clean.
Thankyou for how you led your people through the waters of the Red Sea,
and freed them from slavery.
Thankyou for your Son Jesus,
who was baptised in the river Jordan and who you raised to new life.
As the Spirit hovered over the waters at creation,
come upon this water now.
May Nat, who is washed in it, become one with Christ.
Bring him through the waters of death
into a life full of your amazing grace,
and bring him, one day, to feast at your heavenly banquet.
The baptism: [Steve P]
The minister pours water on Nat, saying:
Nat, I baptize you
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
The welcome: [Steve P]
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism:
Nat, by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body.
We welcome you into the fellowship of faith;
we are children of the same heavenly Father;
we welcome you.
The commission: [Steve P]
We have brought Nat to baptism knowing that Jesus died and rose again for him and trusting in the promise that God hears and answers prayer. We have prayed that in Jesus Christ he will know the forgiveness of his sins and the new life of the Spirit.
As he grows up, he will need the help and encouragement of the Christian community, so that he may learn to know God in public worship and private prayer, follow Jesus Christ in the life of faith, serve his neighbour after the example of Christ, and in due course come to confirmation.
As part of the Church of Christ, we all have a duty to support him by prayer, example and teaching. As his parents and godparents, you have the prime responsibility for guiding and helping him in his early years. This is a demanding task for which you will need the help and grace of God. Therefore let us now pray for grace in guiding Nat in the way of faith.
Faithful and loving God,
bless those who care for Nat
and grant them your gifts of love, wisdom and faith.
Pour upon them your healing and reconciling love,
and protect their home from all evil.
Fill them with the light of your presence
and establish them in the joy of your kingdom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ritual of commitment [Steve Collins]
[Renew your commitment to Christ as you sign yourself with the water in the old font. Take time to look at the words and decorations around it - use them as food for thought and prayer. ]
[adults pray for roses [involves eating 'roses' chocs]
kids write in sand and do sand pictures on card]
O Jesus I have promised