Celebrating the birth and naming of your child
First of all, we the congregation of Hayes Free Church, want to congratulate you on the birth of your baby. we share your joy and happiness on this wonderful event. We warmly welcome the opportunity to share with you the celebration of your baby's birth and naming.
In common with all United Reformed Churches, there are two ways in which we can do this. Either a Service of Thanksgiving, Dedication, Naming and Blessing or by a Service of Baptism.
Information about both of these services are detailed below along with details about what commitments are asked, and the implications and responsibilities in both instances, are explained there. Both of these services normally take place during our morning service, which is at 10.30am on Sundays, in order that the whole Church may take part. Whichever service you choose will depend on the promises and commitment that you wish to make, not only for yourself, but on behalf of your child.
Service of Thanksgiving, Dedication , Naming and Blessing
In this service we give thanks to God for your baby's safe arrival, blessing her/him, as Jesus blessed the children that were brought to him.
In response, you promise to try to live your life such that your child will be surrounded buy love and care. We as a Church promise to help you in this task.
This service allows your child to make up its own mind about Baptism at a later point in its life, and make a commitment to Christ when she/he wish to. There are no God-parents, and now water, in this service.
Service of Baptism
In this service your child is welcomed as a full member of the Church (subject to confirmation by themselves as a later date).
You have to make certain promises, including bringing her/him up within the fellowship of the Church, in turn we as a church make promises to help you in this task.
Baptism means that your baby is a baptised member of the Christian Church, who at some point may wish to affirm and confirm these promises made on her/his behalf in this service.
Things to Consider
The choice between a Baptism or a Blessing is not about 'getting into Heaven', but about the level of commitment you wish to make on your child's behalf. You are not being asked to choose between two tiers of service, both are equally valid alternatives. The minister will be happy to discuss these options with you.
Baptism page. from Alistair Wilson