Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child

Source: The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Commission on Liturgy, Uniting in Worship. Leaders Book (Melbourne: The Joint Board of CHristian Education, 1988), 411-415.


A hymn of praise or thanksgiving may be sung


The elder responsible for the care of the family brings the parent(s), the child and and brothers and sisters forward and introduces them to the congregation.

Friends, I present to you N and N who have come to give thanks for their child N. (I also present N and N who are so glad to be welcoming a new brother/sister into their family.) With them, we give our thanks to God.


The minister says:

All life is from God, and children are a gift from the Lord. Within a family, the birth/adoption of a child is a joyous and solemn occasion. In this event we see the wonder of God's loving creativity among us.
We are now to share the joy of this family whose life has been enriched by the gift of a son/daughter.


The minister, elder or parent(s) may lead the congregation in the following responsive reading:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

He satisfies you with good things, and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.

As a father cares for his children, so does the Lord care for those who fear him.

The merciful goodness of the Lord endures for ever on those who fear him, and his righteousness on children's children.

On those who keep his covenant and remember his commandments and do them.

Bless the Lord, all you works of his, in all places of his dominion; bless the Lord, O my soul.

Psalm 103:1, 2, 5, 13, 17, 18, 22
Alternatively, Psalm 23 or Psalm 100 may be used.


The minister or elder offers one of the following prayers and/or free prayer:

Let us pray: O God, like a mother who comforts her children, you sustain, nurture and strengthen us; like a father who cares for his children, you look upon us with compassion and goodness. We give you thanks for the birth (adoption) of N, and for the joy which has come to this family. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to bring this child to love all that is true and noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable, following the example of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


O Lord our God, creator of heaven and earth, and our creator: we give you thanks and praise for the gift of this child . We thank you for creating him/her in your image, and breathing into him/her the breath of life. We thank you for the love which these parents have for each other, and for the welcome they are giving to N . By the power of the Holy Spirit, fill their home with love, trust and understanding; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


One or both parents may say one of the following:

We thankfully receive N as a gift from God. With humility and hope we promise to love and care for him/her.


We thankfully receive N as a gift from God. With humility and hope we promise to love and care for him/her, and to set before him/her the Christian faith by teaching and example. In this we ask for the power of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of the church.


The following prayer and/or and free prayer is offered:

Gracious God, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named: strengthen us by the Holy Spirit that we may witness faithfully in our homes and in our daily lives. May the love of Christ be made plain to N, and may he/she be brought by grace to the sacrament of baptism. May he/she come, with all your people, to the fullness of your kingdom of love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The minister says:

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. Amen
Numbers 6. 24-26


If a hymn of praise or thanksgiving was not sung at the beginning of this order, one may be sung here.

This text marked up by Michael Fraser, April 1995