‘On the Journey’ …. ‘One more step’
This service was created by Silvia and Chris Purdie for their son Ben.
Song: “The Journey of Life” (With One Voice 670)
Leader: Link (briefly) with the theme … Ben setting off on his journey with God then…
This morning we gather to bless Benjamin as a way of celebrating and giving thanks for his life.
What does this mean?
For the Parents: Thank God for His provision
Benjamin is special
Christian tradition: Making a choice to follow the words of Jesus to his disciples:
‘Let the little children come to me and do not stop them; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.’
Jesus said; ‘Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ Then he took them up in his arms, laid his hands of them and blessed them.
So now as a community of faith, we follow Jesus in the blessing of Benjamin.
The leader invites the Parents and their family to stand up, then says a Prayer of thanks …. something like …
Thank you for the incredible gift of life, and the indescribable joy and privilege of having a new baby. In his eyes your grace shines bright. Thank you for Ben, for all he is and will become.
Thank you for family, for human love to surround and nurture us. Thank you for tender moments, daily struggles and triumphs, hard work, routine and surprises.
Thank you for your presence in our lives, whether or not we are aware of you.
The leader says a couple of lines introducing questions to the Parents
Promises Leader asks of the Parents and they respond “We do”.
In response to all that God has given you …
Do you commit yourselves to living each day in God’s love, being thankful for each blessing?
Do you promise to love and honour Benjamin, caring for him through all that lies ahead?
Do you dedicate Ben’s life to God?
Leader says a couple of lines introducing questions to Congregation
Congregation Leader asks of congregation and they respond ‘We do.’
Do you celebrate Benjamin’s birth, and welcome him into the community of Christ’s family?
Will you care for and support his/her parents, as they help Benjamin to grow, offering prayer and encouragement that the family may grow in Christ’s strength and maturity?
Benjamin, As a community of Christ, we bless you. We hope that your life will be full of joy and love.
We thank God for your life. We pray that your family cherishes you, and that your friends prove to be loyal and trustworthy. We pray that God will guide you through life, keeping you secure in the knowledge that you are a child of God, and so dearly loved.
Opportunity for family and congregation to offer words of blessing
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
he learns to find love in the world.
Benjamin, you have a home of faith and love.
Throughout your childhood and growth into manhood,
may you know warmth, hope and freedom;
may you welcome life's beauty, learn from its pain, and share its joys;
may your love for others deepen with knowledge and insight of every kind;
may you learn to love the world;
may you reach your full potential in all the worlds in which you live.
May the blessing of God go before you,
may grace and peace abound,
may God's spirit live within you,
may love wrap you round,
may God's blessing remain with you always,
may you walk on holy ground.
Members of the congregation give Ben a candle and a tree to be planted.
May God’s love shape your life and surprise you with joy. May Christ’s peace and passion be yours.
May the Holy Spirit’s glorious light surround you and enfold you, this day and always, Amen
All sing the Aaronic Blessing:
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
Song: “Sing a Happy Alleluia” (Alleluia Aotearoa 18)
Reading: Matthew 21:1-11
Talk about the theme of journey - Jesus’ journey towards the cross. … a story? … the challenge to each of us to respond to God’s call to walk towards the cross … in the company of Jesus … where is God calling you.
- Children hand out papers and pens
- Invite congregation to trace the outline of their foot/shoe
- write on the paper a word, or a few words, about one aspect of your life that might be the next step for you. … one thing you would like to change, to do, to try, to face up to. … something God could be calling you to.
- Children collect up the papers, and lay them out on the floor, making a path to the cross.
Song: One more step
Children and young people go out
Reading: Isaiah 50: 4-9a
Song: “Lord of Creation” (With One Voice 557)
Children come back in
Song: “Come into the streets with me” (Alleluia Aotearoa 22)