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The Baptism of Aidan
Since time began, parents have presented their children to their families and communities to be celebrated. In so doing, families affirm the sacredness of their children's lives and the bonds they have to their community. Today, we are adding another historic link in the chain of this ancient ritual. Today, we dedicate Aidan to the love and protection of the Spirit in which we live and move and have our being. This naming and baptism ceremony honors the connection between the person in their physical, emotional, and mental bodies to the Everlasting Source of all Life. The rite itself has a spiritual effect in stabilizing the soul's control of its physical form and strengthens the union between the soul and the ever-present Divine Spirit. With these words in mind, please join me in prayer.
Blessed are you, our God and the God of our ancestors, who has enabled us to further the generations with courage and blessed us with new life. Blessed are you, our God and the God of our Mothers and Fathers, for the miracle of birth and the joy of parenthood, for the beauty and love and the harmony of the life cycle. Blessed are you, the God of life, who protects your creatures and gives them wondrous cycles of rebirth.
Explanation of Naming and Blessing
In bringing this child to be named and blessed with the water of life, you, the parents, friends and family of Aidan, declare your purpose in love to give freely of yourselves, and ultimately perform the final act of love, which is to give freedom as you give love. Our name anchors us in this world and helps to strengthen the link between our soul and our personality. It is in this world of name and form that we choose experiences that will enable us to grow. This child has chosen Michael and Miranda as his parents because they can offer him the knowledge and experiences he needs in his journey through life.
Therefore, Miranda and Michael, please state the name that you have bestowed upon your child. Aidan Michael Tyler.
Address to the Parents
Michael and Miranda, in presenting Aidan in this gathering of family and friends, you are taking a step as parents in the assumption of moral responsibility. The coming of a child into the family circle widens its dimension far beyond the simple addition of another family member. It brings the miracle of a new personality working toward its own fulfillment. Always remember to give Aidan your permission to grow and evolve, to make his own life independent from yours. Give him a sense of truth, and make him aware of his station as a citizen of the universe preparing him for human nature in all its varieties, forms and variables. Give him a sense of proportion in the landscape of the world and a sense of reality in life with its lights and shadows. The great end of parental care, as Channing observed, "is not to stamp your minds upon the young but stir up their own; not to make them see with your eyes but to look inquiring and steadily with their own; not to form an outward regularity but to touch inward springs; not to burden memory but to quicken the power of thought, so that they may learn and approve for themselves what is everlastingly right and good." Love Aidan freely and wisely so that he may come to realize his potential and be at peace with all that he becomes.
Parents' Promise to the Child
With these words in mind, do you, Michael and Miranda, promise to love, respect and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of your child, Aidan, to remember that he is in this world to manifest his own personal destiny? If so, please answer, "we do." We do.
Address to the Guardians
Jill and Timothy, Michael and Miranda have chosen you as Aidan's guardians and godparents because you are loved ones that they greatly trust, admire and love. You embody the meaning of family and family is what matters most. Whenever Michael and Miranda have needed you, you have been there. You are both examples of what it means to love and love unconditionally. It is through you that Aidan will begin to see the world. Encourage him to be himself as you are each strong and confident individuals. Teach him to take risks as you have taken risks, and raise him up to his highest potential. You are dearly loved and these are only some of the reasons you have been chosen to assist in guiding Aidan along his life's journey.
Guardians' Promise to the Child
Will you, Jill and Timothy, do everything within your faculties to nurture and support Aidan through his growth and evolution, endowing him with your vibrantly colored gifts and qualities? If so, please answer, "We will." We will.
Water is the symbol of purification, sanctification and of life itself. In its purest form, water symbolizes the animating aspect of life, spirit, and in its most solid form, it symbolizes matter, the body. In baptism, water is applied in the sign of the cross, the horizontal being the body and the vertical being the spirit. This gesture symbolizes spirit coming into matter.
Aidan, may this water, a symbol of purification, sanctification and life, remind your parents and all those here who will play a significant role in your life, that your mission in this world is to grow in both the love of the Creator and all human beings by living a life of good example which will be a source of illumination for all. Aidan, use your eyes to behold the Glory of the Divine in creation. Use your hearing to listen to the Voice of the Divine within you. Use your taste to thank the Divine for the nourishment It gives you. Use your sense of smell to draw into your body the Divine breath by which we live. Use your touch to heal and console your fellow human beings upon the planet. In the name of God and of generations before and after us, you are baptized into the mystical union of souls upon the earth. We rejoice that you are here and we ask You, dear God, to bless and protect him, now and forever.
For the gift of childhood, whose innocence and laughter keep the world young; we all rejoice and give thanks. May this sweet life, which we have accepted into our community of ideals and friendship, receive abundantly the blessings of health, love, knowledge and wisdom, and in its turn give back to the common heritage that endures from generation to generation. Amen.