The Blessing of Nathan William Halloran
November 22, 2003
 
Terry: John and Melisa, what name have you given to your child?

John and Melisa: Nathan William Halloran.

Terry: John and Melisa, what do you ask of God for Nathan?

John and Melisa: God's blessing, faith and eternal life.

Terry: John and Melisa, you have asked to have Nathan blessed. 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?

John and Melisa: We do.

Terry: Eric and Connie, are you ready to help John and Melisa in their duty as Christian parents?
 
Eric and Connie: We are.

Terry: Nathan, 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 to do the same.
 
First Terry, then John and Melisa, then Eric and Connie trace the cross on the forehead of Nathan.

Terry: Now let us listen to the words of the Bible and reflect on God's written word. The reader will be Nathan's uncle Dan.
 
Dan:
 
A reading from the second book of the prophet Samuel:
 
The Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, "There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little lamb. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock, but he took the poor man's lamb, and prepared it for the man who had come to him."
 
Then David's anger was great against the man; and he said to Nathan, "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; and he shall restore the lamb and give three others, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."
 
Nathan said to David, "You are the man. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house.' "
 
David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
 
The word of the Lord.
 
All: Thanks be to God.
 
Terry:
 
Nathan, your name is of Hebrew origin. It means God's gift. As you grow older, you'll learn the Bible story of Nathan the Prophet. Your uncle Dan has just read it for you. Nathan had the nerve to tell King David that he had sinned. He was a brave man. Today we bless you, Nathan. We ask our generous creator that you may admire his prophets and live up to your name. We pray that you will always be God's gift.
 
Somewhere back in the 1800s, there's a Nathaniel among your ancestors. But you're the first Nathan in this family tree. Your middle name William is more traditional. One of your great-great-grandparents is Wilhelm Liepe. His youngest daughter married your great-grandfather William. Two of your great-grandmothers are Billee and Wilma. Billee is named after her father, William. Wilma is named after her father, Wilhelm. Your grandpa Terry's middle name is William.
 
Nathan, we also celebrate the birthday of Bob Roberts. He was born 63 years ago today. He's the youngest brother of your grandma Connie. President John F. Kennedy died on Bob's 23rd birthday Some of Bob's nephews and nieces are your dad, your uncle Dan, and your new godmother Connie. When your great-uncle Bob Roberts died six years ago, we gathered to honor and remember him and to celebrate his life. We said this prayer:
 
Our brother Bob has gone to his rest in the peace of God's presence. With faith and hope in eternal life, let us commend him to the loving mercy of our Father, and assist him with our prayers. May the Lord now welcome him to the table of God's family in heaven, and with all the saints may he inherit the promise of eternal life.
 
Terry: My dear brothers and sisters, we now ask God to give Nathan new life in abundance through this blessing 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.
 
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 salvation, 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 river 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): Nathan, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 
Eric and Connie wipe the water from Nathan's forehead.
 
Terry (touching the christening gown): Nathan, 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, Nathan 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.