Page images

in baptism. This water is the emblem of that purity which God desires in the souls of his chil. dren,- that purity which was in Jesus, his well. beloved Son, through whom we are called to pureness and holiness of living.

Will ye do your best to instruct this child in all the truth of God? And will ye faithfully en. deavor to rear him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ?

Answer.- We will.

Name this child.

And, repeating the name, the Minister shall baptize the

child, saying :

In the faith, fellowship, and hope of the gospel, I dedicate thee to God, our Father in heaven.

Let us pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast promised unto us that thou wilt not only be our God, but the God and father of our children, admit this child, we beseech thee, into the bosom of thy Church, into the service of all truth, into the arms of thy mercy, and into the communion of saints. Grant to him a healthful body, a good understand. ing, sweet dispositions, and rich measures of thy Holy Spirit, that being steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, and rooted in charity, he may safely pass through the temptations of this world, and have part with thy faithful children in the life to come.

Endue these thy servants, O God, with wisdom from above. Help them in thine own best way to consecrate to thy service this cherished gift of thy goodness. By thy Holy Spirit aid them, and all who are here present, so to live before thee in love and obedience, as finally to see thy face in joy and peace eternal. Amen.

A hymn may here be sung.

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep our minds and hearts in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ; and the blessing of God, the Father Almighty, be amongst us, and remain with us always. Amen.

Flower Sunday and Consecration of Children.

[For this service choose some Sunday in May or June after flowers are plenty. Let the Sunday-school children take a prominent part. As far as possible have all the children born into the households of the church during the year presented by their parents or guardians. Let them be grouped about the Minister, or in front of the pulpit, while the Sunday-school children or the choir sing an appropriate hymn.]

The Minister shall read or say :

And Jesus took a child, and set him in the midst of them. And when he had taken him in his arms, he said : Whosoever shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. And whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but Him that sent me.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father, who is in heaven.


It was said in old times that “children are an heritage and gift that cometh from the Lord”; and in most cases the birth of a child is rightly

nsidered as an occasion of joy and thanks

[ocr errors]

giving. The little ones have come into the midst of life's duties and dangers at our invitation, not their own : they should therefore be received into arms of loving welcome and tender care.

It is a most serious responsibility to bring them here, to add thus to the world's sum of good or evil; and we should not dare to do it, unless we are earnestly ready to do all we can to make their lives a blessing both to themselves and to others.

With these most serious thoughts in mind, and in accordance with the spirit and the truths of the E! religion which we profess, we are about to conse

crate these children of ours to the love and service of our heavenly Father. In their tiny hands, they hold the future; and that future will be good or evil as they shall make it. We consecrate

them then to purity and truth, believing that thus é only can they attain to the highest happiness and 2 well-being for themselves, and be of the noblest service to others.

This water with which we touch their foreheads is the fitting symbol of a pure heart and a clean life. These flowers which we bestow upon them are appropriate tokens and emblems of the unfolding graces of a noble life and the fragrance of good deeds.

You, then, as the parents and guardians of these children, do solemnly promise and engage that, to the best of your ability, you will instruct and train them in the principles of all right living; that you will help them to be fearless, impartial, and reverent seekers after truth; and that you

will endeavor to set them such an example as they may safely follow.

Answer.- We do.

Then, naming each child in turn, while touching its fore.

head with water, and holding in his hand a bunch of flowers to be given the child after the formula is repeated, the Minister shall say :

[ocr errors]

in the use of this water, an emblem of purity, and the gift of these flowers, a symbol of the unfolding of a beautiful life, I consecrate thee to God and his truth forever. Amen.

Let us pray

The prayer may be extempore or read, at the option of the


[To each child, after the formula of consecration, the Minister gives a bunch of flowers, which it is recommended shall be preserved as a memento of the service. As the children are taken away, the Sunday-school children or the choir will sing a concluding song.]

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »