The Baptism of Gabriel Thomas Halloran
May 25, 2003

Terry: Daniel and Suzanne, what name have you given to your child?

Daniel and Suzanne: Gabriel Thomas Halloran.

Terry: Daniel and Suzanne, what do you ask of God for Gabriel?

Daniel and Suzanne: Baptism, faith and eternal life.

Terry: Daniel and Suzanne, you have asked to have Gabriel baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him up to keep God's commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?

Daniel and Suzanne: We do.

Terry:
Peggy and Casey and Gabrielís big sister Eleanor, are you ready to help Daniel and Suzanne in their duty as Christian parents?

Peggy and Casey and Eleanor: We are.

Terry: Gabriel, the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Savior by the sign of his cross. I now trace the cross on your forehead, and I invite your parents and godparents and your big sister Eleanor to do the same.

First Terry, then Daniel and Suzanne, then Peggy and Casey and Eleanor trace the cross on the forehead of Gabriel.

Terry: Now let us listen to the words of the Bible and reflect on God's written word. The reader will be Daniel's cousin Al.

Al:

A reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"

But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

The word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

Terry:

Gabriel, the angel with your name arrived bringing a great idea. Godís son would become one of us. His name would be Jesus. He would save us from hatred. He would heal the pain in our hearts. He would tell us what it means to love God and to love others. He would show us that love is really worth all the time and trouble it takes.

To the angel Gabriel this all seemed like good news. But it didnít work. 2000 years later, thereís more hatred in the world. Thereís more pain in the hearts of people. We live so badly that our families and friends pray for us in church after we leave this life.

But Gabriel, we see hope in you. On the desert of this planet, youíve been born into an oasis of love and joy. Youíre surrounded by family and friends who are happy that you came. To welcome you, we baptize you today. And we ask God to renew the grace of baptism in each one of us.

Terry: My dear brothers and sisters, we now ask God to give Gabriel new life in abundance through water and God's grace.

Generous creator in heaven, you give us grace through natural signs, which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.

In baptism we use your gift of water, which you have made a rich symbol of the grace you gave us in this mystery.

At the very dawn of creation your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness.

The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of baptism, that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.

Through the waters of the Red Sea you led Israel out of slavery, to be an image of God's holy people, set free from sin by faith.

In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Spirit.

Your Son willed that water and blood should flow from his side as he hung upon the cross.

After his resurrection he told his disciples: "Go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Terry (touching the water):  We ask you, Lord, to bless the water of this font. We ask this in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Terry (pouring the water): Gabriel, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Eleanor wipes the water from Gabrielís forehead.


Terry (touching the christening gown): Gabriel, you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in faith. See in this white garment the outward sign of your dignity as God's child. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, wear that dignity unstained throughout your life.

Terry: Family and friends, Gabriel has been reborn in baptism. He is now called a child of God, for indeed he is.

May God, who loves all people, bless all the relatives and friends who are gathered here. In his mercy, may he guard them from evil and give them his abundant peace.

And may almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless you, now and forever.

All: Amen.