GCI: Blessing of a Child
The Blessing of Children should normally take place during the worship service, but it can also take place in a location chosen by the family.
One or more of the following scriptural passages may be read:
- Matthew 19:13‑15
- Mark 10:13‑16
- Luke 18:15‑17
- Ephesians 1:3-6
All of the attending family, parents, grandparents and siblings, should be invited forward to participate in the ceremony.
Children are a blessing and a reason to rejoice. For this reason, we follow Jesus’ example in blessing the small children in our congregations.
When one member rejoices, we all rejoice, and it is our pleasure today to join in celebrating this precious child and praying together to affirm God’s love for him/her and to thank God for his blessing and presence with him/her as he/she grows throughout life.
Will [name of child’s] mother/father/parents please come forward, and all his/her brothers and sisters, too, if they would like?
When everyone is assembled, the officiant continues:
In Jesus, we are all children of the Father, completely dependent on him, just as this child is dependent on his/her [use appropriate relationship, whether parents/father/mother/guardian/uncle/aunt/grandmother, etc] for life, protection, and training. We respect and cherish [name of child] and know that our Father himself loves him/her even more deeply than any of us can.
Although this child is very young, [first names of parents or guardian] have already prayed countless times for him/her. No doubt we shall pray for him/her many times again, each in our own way and privately before our Father in heaven. Let us pray together now, rejoicing over this young life in our congregation, recognizing our dependence on our Creator, and committing this child to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The child may then be anointed with oil by dipping a finger in the oil and applying it to the child’s forehead while saying:
You are blessed by the Holy Spirit and beloved as the Father’s own child in Christ forever. Amen.
The officiant may then lay hands on the child’s head or shoulders and bless the child in prayer.
Father in heaven, we thank you for our adoption as your children through your Son Jesus Christ. Today we rejoice with [parents’ or guardians’ names] and their family in the life of [child’s first name]. Thank you, Father, for giving us [child’s first name]. Guard him/her from danger and evil. May the Holy Spirit assure him/her of your everlasting love and of his/her place in your Son’s resurrection and ascension.
We pray for his/her parents/guardians, that you would bless them and their extended family with assurance and faith to raise [child’s first name] in the nurture and admonition of Christ, to know the gospel and rest in your love and power. All this we pray in the name of Jesus our Savior and life, giving glory and thanks to you always. Amen.
If the blessing takes place during the worship service, the officiant concludes by asking the congregation to support the child as a part of the church family.
Officiant asks the congregation: “Do you receive [name of the child] into the fellowship of the Body of Christ here at [name of the congregation]?”
Congregation responds: “We do.”
Officiant asks: “Will you love, uphold and support [name of the child] in his/her life in Christ?”
Congregation responds: “We will, in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Officiant states: “[Name of the child] we praise God and give thanks for you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
 Some officiants may wish to make the sign of the cross on the forehead.