The birth or adoption of a child is a cause for celebration. Many people are overcome by a sense of awe at the creation of new life and want to express their thanks to God. This service provides an opportunity for parents, families and friends to give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and to pray for family life.
Within St James and Emmanuel Thanksgivings normally take place on the third Sunday of each month in the St James’ 10:30 service and on the fourth Sunday of each month in the Emmanuel 10:30 service.
The theme of this service is to give thanks to God for the gift of each child as a unique human being. The only commitments made by parents are to recognise their children as a gift from God and to seek God’s blessing for their children. Within the service the parents formally state the name of their children and the minister prays a blessing over each child individually. The parents will be presented with a Bible to help them as they nuture their child. An example service is available here.
Many parents ask some friends or family members to be supporters. Although technically not godparents, people often refer to these supporters as godparents.
Is a Thanksgiving for you and your child?
People usually choose a Thanksgiving service for one of two reasons. The first is that you would like your child to have the freedom to choose to be baptised later in life – this approach is common among some strands of Christianity.
The second is that the promises and commitments involved in baptism may be more than you feel able to make at this time but that you would like to have a spiritual celebration of the precious gift of your child. Whatever your reasons, we are always happy to arrange Thanksgiving services, not least because they are a great excuse for a celebration!