Blessing for My Son

IMG_1794Well, I’m a mom. On Saturday September 26th at 4:51am I gave birth in my parents’ house to my first born son, Thaddeus Raffi Stedman. At 2 weeks early and 6 pounds 11 ounces he was tiny, but perfect.

Yesterday we had some of our immediate family over to bless and pray for Thaddeus. It was simple and very short, but very meaningful for Bryan and I and we hope Thaddeus as well. Bryan and I had written a liturgy for Thad for the occasion and I thought I would share it here. Please join us in praying that these things would be true of our son as he grows.

Blessing Ceremony for Thaddeus Raffi Stedman

Celebrants together:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Celebrant:
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

Celebrant:
“The blessing of Christ comes to you in this child.
His blessing is mercy and kindness and joy.
Blessing comes to home and to family.”

Grandparents together:
Blessed are You, Our God, Spirit of the Universe
Who fulfills the words of the Psalmist: ‘And may
you live to see your children’s children…’

Mother and Father together:
“Blessed are you, Oh Lord, Our God, King of the universe who bestows goodness upon the accountable, who has bestowed every goodness upon us.”

Celebrant:
“Amen, He who has bestowed goodness upon you, may He bestow every goodness upon you forever.”

Mother:
I bless you, son of my womb…
Blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.
I bless your body.
May it be strong and resilient all the days of your life.
May your body be for you a source of joy, but not of arrogance.
May the strength of your limbs provide protection and help for those who need it, and may your arms circle with care those whom you love, bringing comfort and encouragement to many.
I bless your body.
I pray that God would shield it and hold it all the days of your life, and raise it anew to glory on the day the last trumpet sounds.

Father:
I bless you, son of my love…
Love of my love, reward of my passion, answer of my tenderness
I bless your deep heart.
May it be free and unfettered all the days of your life.
May you know passion in your work, in your play and in your love.
May your heart reach out in tenderness and protection towards those who are hurting, may it guide you to that which is good, right and true, and may it surround those around you with compassion, openness and grace.
I bless your heart. I bless your love.
I pray that God would shield it and hold it all the days of your life, and reward it abundantly and graciously on the day the last trumpet sounds.

Mother:
I bless you, son of my labor…
Gift of my effort, result of my toil, delight of my pain
I bless your struggle.
May the struggles, challenges, and pain of your life always be mixed with deep joy.
May you find God amidst your sorrows, and feel his presence close at hand during times of uncertainty.
May you fight bravely, struggling on behalf of others for justice and beauty and all those things which are worth fighting for in this world.
May you fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, and battle on behalf of the weak and needy.
I bless your struggle.
I pray that God would protect you so that you can protect others all the days of your life, and when the day of judgment comes may he say unto you “well done, good and faithful servant.”

Father:
I bless you, son of my joy…
Wonder of my happiness, miracle of my awe, child of my delight
I bless your pursuit of joy.
May you delight in life and wonder at creation.
May you find joy in all the little things, and see beauty in all that’s around you.
May you play freely and bring delight and joy and laughter to all those around you, contagiously spreading to them your curiosity, creativity and hunger for life.
I bless your pursuit of joy.
I pray that God would protect you and that all your pursuits of joy would lead you quickly to his throne of grace, and when the day of judgment comes may he know you as his own.

Father and Mother together:
We lift up this child to you, Lord.
We recognize that he is your gift to us and that we are only stewards of him.

Father:
We lift up this child to you, Lord.
And give him the name Thaddeus Raffi Stedman
And pray that he would live up to the meanings and significances of his name.

Mother:
Thaddeus has several  meanings, all of which are things that we desire for you. First, it means “heart”, or “breast” or “courageous heart” and we pray that you would have a courageous heart. May you be a man with heart, passion, and sensitivity. May you have a heart that does not shrink with fear, but instead expands with love. Thaddeus can also mean wise or valiant. We pray that you would grow in wisdom and valiantly follow the voice of wisdom throughout your life. Lastly, Thaddeus can mean “praise” or “God’s gift” and we recognize through this name that you are God’s gift to us and we will ever praise him for that gift.

Father:
We pray that you would be like the Apostle Thaddeus (also known as Jude) who became one of the patriarchs of the Armenian church, and was known as the patron saint of lost causes. Like this Thaddeus of old, may you follow Christ Jesus as his disciple. May you take up the cause of the hurting and oppressed even when no one else will and it seems that the cause is “lost”. And may you be a spiritual father or patriarch to many.

Mother:
Raffi means “highly praised” and we pray that you would be highly honored and admired by those who meet you. May you have few enemies and many friends. May those who come to know you, come to admire you. But may you also always remember, and direct others to remember, the One who alone is worthy of all praise and glory and honor.  May people’s admiration of you turn quickly to admiration of Christ Jesus.

Father:
We pray that you would be like Raffi Francian, or Papa as we call him. May you be like Papa in his ability to put others at ease and be a friend to everyone he meets as well as his ability to “not sweat the small stuff.” May you have Papa’s adventurous spirit that is always up for anything and quick to try new things. We pray that this would bring you to have many great stories to tell throughout your life and that you would always be ready to share them and give God glory for them.

Celebrants together:
Welcome, Thaddeus Raffi Stedman,
child of love.
We welcome you with open arms and hearts of love.

Grandfathers together:
Grow strongly, Thaddeus,
in love of God.
We bless you,
and pray
Christ be near you,
now and each hour
of your life.”

Grandmothers together:
“Grow gently, Thaddeus,
in love of God.
We bless you,
and pray
Christ be near you,
now and each hour
of your life.”

(Opportunity for people to pray openly as they feel led for Thaddeus)

Celebrants together:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Amen.


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