Thursday, April 19, 2012

Covenant Naming Ceremony - Why And How


By Bishop Dag Heward-Mills

The Naming Ceremony is a traditional event that takes place after the birth of a child. Some families are very traditional and abide by all customs relating to the date and time of the event. The pastor’s role is basically to introduce a biblical and spiritual perspective to the occasion. This of course is only possible depending on what the family requests or allows.

NAMING CEREMONY
1. OPENING PRAYER AND WORSHIP
~ He Is Lord
~ O Come Let Us Adore Him

2. REASON FOR OCCASION
We are gathered here today with our brother and sister,
Mr. and Mrs. ....(Last name of parents).... for two reasons:
i. To rejoice over what God has done for them and
ii. To give a name to their newly born baby.

The Bible is the basis for whatever we do, therefore, our scripture reading for today is:
Luke 1:57-64
Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John.
And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

As was done in those days, we want to call on the father of the child to give us the name(s) he desires to give to the child and the meaning(s) of the name(s).

3. GIVING OF NAME BY FATHER
Father stands up and mentions the full name of the child and the meaning(s) of the name(s).

4. PROCLAMATION, SANCTIFICA- TION AND
AFFIRMATION OF NAME ON THE CHILD BY PRAYER

i. Minister takes the baby and asks all to stand and join in prayer for the baby.
ii. Minister prays laying hands on the baby, and anoints the baby with oil.
PRAYER
Father, in the name of Jesus, thine only begotten Son, we thank you for the name(s) that has been given today. We sanctify this name(s) and we declare that this child shall be called ....[name(s) of child].... From today I pray that he shall live up to the meaning(s) of this name(s).

The Minister makes reference to the name(s) and prays for the child to fulfill the purpose of the name. (e.g., “John means ‘Jehovah is gracious’,
May Jehovah God be gracious unto this child always.”)

I anoint this baby with oil as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, that he may live under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit, all the days of his life. Amen.

5. SONGS
~ Showers of Blessing
~ Ebenezer

6. BLESSING OF CHILD
Father, we thank you indeed for a good and perfect gift, the gift of a life. Thank you for blessing this family with this child. I cancel, I nullify, I reverse, and I reject every curse and every expectation of the enemy concerning the life of .... [name(s) of child] ....
I bring down the walls of opposition, resistance, and frustration that are lifted up against the life of this child. I superimpose the will of God over and against every plan, every projection and prediction of the enemy for your life.
I speak the blessing of God over your life.
May the goodness and the favor of God be your portion all the days of your life.
May you live to be a blessing to your parents. May you live to be a blessing to your generation. May you become what God has destined you to be. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
7. CHARGE TO PARENTS
MINISTER: (To the parents.)
Do you promise to bring up this child in the ways of the
Lord that he may not depart from them when he grows?
According to Deuteronomy 6:7, do you promise to teach him the Word of God when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up?

FATHER: I do.
MOTHER: I do.
BOTH PARENTS TOGETHER: We do.

MINISTER: Amen! Shall we clap for them. (Minister returns the baby to the parents.)
8. SONGS
~ To God Be the Glory
~ Ebenezer

9. PRESENTATION OF GIFTS
MINISTER:
Now, as was done in the days of Jesus when he was born, wise men came from the east with precious gifts. I will now hand over to the Master of Ceremonies as we receive gifts and presents for the baby.

10. MASTER OF CEREMONIES TAKES OVER

11. CLOSING PRAYER (At the appropriate time.)