The Officiants at Church of Ancient Ways

Baby Blessing Readings

Words for welcoming new little angels to the world. Below is a collection of poems, prose, scripture and other readings, both religious and secular, for Baby Blessings, Baptisms and Baby Naming Ceremonies.

  • This Bridge

    by Shel Silverstein

    “This bridge will only take you halfway there
    To those mysterious lands you long to see:
    Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fairs
    And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
    So come and stay awhile with me and share
    The twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve known.
    But this bridge will only take you halfway there…
    The last few steps you’ll have to take alone.”

  • Apache Blessing

    “May the sun bring you new energy by day,
    May the moon softly restore you by night,
    May the rain wash away your worries
    And the breeze blow new strength into your being,
    And all of the days of your life may you walk
    Gently through the world and know its beauty.”

  • Ithaka

    (translation/adaptation by Sarah Ban Breathnach)

    “Pray that your journey be long,
    full of many summer mornings
    when with much pleasure and much joy
    you anchor in harbors never seen before;
    Browse through Phoenician markets,
    to purchase exquisite treasures-
    mother-of-pearl and coral, ebony and amber
    and sensual perfumes of all kinds-
    as much as you desire.
    Visit many Egyptian cities, content
    to sit at the feet of sages, eager
    and open to receive learning.
    Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
    Your arrival there is your destiny.
    But do not hurry the journey at all; be patient.
    Better that it lasts for many years-
    longer than you can even imagine.
    So that finally, when you reach this
    sacred isle, you will be wise,
    abundantly fulfilled by all you have gained along the way;
    no longer expecting Ithaka to make you wealthy,
    no longer needing Ithaka to make you rich.

    Ithaka has given you the journey,
    the chance to discover who you have always been.
    Without Ithaka as your inspiration, you
    never would have set out in search of Wholeness.

    And should you find her poor, Ithaka did not deceive you.
    Authentic as you have become, full of wisdom,
    beauty and grace, enriched and enlightened by all you have experienced
    You will finally understand what all of life’s Ithakas truly mean.”

  • I Am Love

    Author Unknown

    “Some say I can fly on the wind, yet I haven’t any wings.
    Some have found me floating on the open sea, yet I cannot swim.
    Some have felt my warmth on cold nights, yet I have no flame.
    And though you cannot see me,
    I lay between two lovers at the hearth of fireplaces.
    I am the twinkle in your child’s eyes.
    I am hidden in the lines of your mother’s face.
    I am your father’s shield as he guards your home.
    And yet Some say I am stronger than steel, yet I am as fragile as a tear.
    Some have never searched for me, yet I am around them always.
    Some say I die with loss, yet I am endless.
    And though you cannot hear me, I dance on the laughter of children.
    I am woven into the whispers of passion.
    I am in the blessings of Grandmothers.
    I embrace the cries of newborn babies.
    And yet Some say I am a flower, yet I am also the seed.
    Some have little faith in me, yet I will always believe in them.
    Some say I cannot cure the ill, yet I nourish the soul.
    And though you cannot touch me, I am the gentle hand of the kind.
    I am the fingertips that caress your cheek at night.
    I am the hug of a child.
    I am love….”

  • Baby’s Way

    by Rabindranath Tagore (Hindu Poet)

    If Baby only wanted to, he could fly up to heaven this moment.
    It is not for nothing that he does not leave us.
    He loves to rest his head on mother’s bosom,
    and cannot ever bare to lose sight of her.
    Baby knows all manner of wise words,
    though few on earth can understand their meaning.
    It is not for nothing that he never wants to speak.
    The one thing he wants is to learn mother’s words from mother’s lips.
    That is why he looks so innocent.
    Baby had a heap of gold and pearls,
    yet he came like a beggar on to this earth.
    It is not for nothing he came in such a disguise.
    This dear little naked mendicant pretends to be utterly helpless,
    so that he may beg for mother’s wealth of love.
    Baby was so free from every tie in the land of the tiny crescent moon.
    It was not for nothing he gave up his freedom.
    He knows that there is room for endless joy in mother’s little corner of a heart,
    and it is sweeter far than liberty to be caught and pressed in her dear arms.
    Baby never knew how to cry.
    He dwelt in the land of perfect bliss.
    It is not for nothing he has chosen to shed tears.
    Though with the smile of his dear face he draws mother’s yearning heart to him,
    yet his little cries over tiny troubles weave the double bond of pity and love.

  • “If” – by Rudyard Kipling

    (‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

  • From ‘Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting’

    by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

    “When we become parents, whether intentionally or by happenstance, our whole life is immediately different, although it may take some time to realize just how much. Being a parent compounds stress by orders of magnitude. It makes us vulnerable in ways we weren’t before. It calls us to be responsible in ways we weren’t before. It challenges us as never before, and takes out time and attention away from other things, including ourselves, as never before. It creates chaos and disorder, feelings of inadequacy, occasions for arguments, struggles, irritation, noise, seemingly never-ending obligations and errands, and plenty of opportunities for getting stuck, angry, resentful, hurt, and for feeling overwhelmed, old, and unimportant. And this can go on not only when the children are little, but even when they are full grown and on their own. Having children is asking for trouble.

    “So why do it? Maybe Pete Seeger said it best: ‘We do it for the high wages…kisses.’ Children give us the opportunity to share in the vibrancy of life in ways we would not touch were they not part of our lives….they share …[their] vital nature with us and call it out of us as well, if we can listen carefully to the calling.”

  • Adapted From Quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh

    Our Beautiful Child, we are grateful that you have chosen us to be your parents. To be beautiful means to be yourself. May you accept yourself and see the beauty inherent within you. May you lead a life of reverence and walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. May your joy be the source of your smile, and your smile be a source of joy to the world. Smile, breathe and go slowly. Because you are alive, everything is possible. Yet, Life is available only in the present moment.

    “Around us, life bursts with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”

    “Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” “Our own life has to be our message.” May yours be one of grace and compassion, a blessing upon this world. May our heart’s garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers, as we hear your name, (BABY’S NAME HERE).”

  • From “The Prophet”

    By Kahlil Gibran

    “And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
    ‘Speak to us of Children.’
    And he said:
    ‘Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

  • Every Person Born into This World

    From a passage by Martin Buber (adaptation)

    Every person born into this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique. It is the duty of every person in Israel to know and consider that he is unique in the world in his particular character, and that there has never been someone like him before. For if there had been someone like him before, there would be no need for him to be in the world. Every single person is a new thing in the world and is called upon to fulfill his particularity in the world.

    Children learn what they live.

    If a child lives with criticism, she learns to condemn.
    If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
    If a child lives with ridicule, she learns to be shy.
    If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilt.
    If a child lives with tolerance, she learns to be patient.
    If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
    If a child lives with praise, she learns to appreciate.
    If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
    If a child lives with security, she learns to have faith.
    If a child lives with approval he learns to like himself.
    If a child lives with acceptance, he or she learns to find love in the world.

  • Know you what it is to be a child?

    Excerpts from Francis Thompson and William Blake

    Know you what it is to be a child? … It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, – for each child has a fairy god-mother in his/her own soul; it is to live in a nutshell and count yourself the king/queen of infinite space; it is:

    To see the World in a grain of sand,
    And a heaven in a wild flower,
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    And eternity in an hour.

  • Omaha Native American Children’s Blessing

    Sun, Moon, Stars, all you that move in the heavens, hear us!
    Into your midst has come a new life.

    Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the first hill!
    Winds, Clouds, Rain, Mist, all you that move in the air, hear us!
    Into your midst has come a new life.

    Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the second hill!
    Hills, Valleys, Rivers, Lakes, Trees, Grasses, all you of the earth, hear us!
    Into your midst has come a new life.

    Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the third hill!
    Birds, great and small, that fly in the air,
    Animals, great and small, that dwell in the forest,
    Insects that creep among the grasses and burrow in the ground, hear us!
    Into your midst has come a new life.

    Make his path smooth, that he may reach the brow of the fourth hill!
    All you of the heavens, all you of the air, all you of the earth, hear us!
    Into your midst has come a new life.

    Make his path smooth, then shall he travel beyond the four hills!

    Understanding the meaning of the Medicine Wheel depends on the concept that a person’s life consists of”conquering the four hills: Infancy, Youth, Maturity and Old Age. The four stages are celebrated in ritual as the four prime moments in life corresponding to the four directions.

    The first hill is the South (innocence and trust) where the infant’s reception into life occurs. The second hill, that of introspection, in the West, becomes the youth’s solitary vigil and quest for vision. This first quest seeks the revelation of the Great Spirit’s manifestation and continuing presence.

    This is the time when a power animal attribute enters a Native individual’s soul becoming a part of his or her name. (Sitting Bull, Black Elk, Crazy Horse and so on). It marks the beginning of the dweller within, the dreaming soul that contacts the higher spiritual planes bringing back visions that serve as fundamental guide posts in life. The hill of maturity lies to the North and represents the successful realization of ability and ambition. It is the place of recognition in which the pursuit of wisdom underlies and nourishes all action.
    Sympathy with life itself grows in this quarter.

    The final hill is that of old age situated in the East. It represents a quiet, reflective and meditative segment where the old ones now can pass on their knowledge to youth as they have mastered the meaning of joy and sorrow and the many other trials and tribulations encountered over the course of their existence.

  • The Greatest Song of All

    by Spike Milligan

    There is a song in man
    There is a song in woman
    And that is the child’s song.
    When that song comes
    There will be no words.
    Do not ask where they are.
    Just listen to the song.
    Listen to it-
    Learn it-
    It is the greatest song of all

  • Jewish Blessing

    In every birth, blessed is the wonder.
    In every creation, blessed is the new beginning.
    In every child, blessed is life.
    In every hope, blessed is the potential.
    In every transition, blessed is the beginning.
    In every existence, blessed are the possibilities.
    In every love, blessed are the tears.
    In every life, blessed is the love.
    There are three names by which a person is called:
    One which her father and mother call her,
    And one which people call her,
    And one which she earns for herself.
    The best one of these is the one that she earns for herself.’

  • Irish Baby Blessing

    May all the blessings of our Lord touch your life today.
    May He send His little angels to protect you on your way.
    Such a miraculous gift, sent from above.
    Someone so precious to cherish and love.
    May sunshine and moonbeams dance over your head.
    As you quietly slumber in your bed.
    May good luck be with you wherever you go.
    And your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.

  • An Adoption Poem

    Not flesh of my flesh,
    nor bone of my bone
    but very remarkably,
    all my own.
    And never forget,
    for a single minute,
    that you weren’t born
    under my heart,
    but in it.

  • From the Tao Te Ching

    Giving birth and nourishing,
    having without possessing,
    acting with no expectations,
    leading and not trying to control:
    this is the supreme virtue.

  • Finnian Asher’s Grandmother’s Reading

    Untitled, Author Unknown

    “What shall we call you,
    one who comes across a vast distance
    bearing secrets of the future,
    your father’s hidden wishing,
    and the remembrance of beauty that hung diffusely in the air
    all those long years without you?
    We call you the awaited one,
    the dreamt of one, the sung one,
    for we sing to you now a symphony of welcomes,
    and wish for your smooth passage to the world.
    As if you were sweet basil,
    as if you were mountain rosemary,
    as if you were the golden sweetness of the apple
    and the pear at harvest time.
    You sweeten your mother’s innermost heart
    and ripen her for every greater mystery-
    For she has kissed the hem of the most Beloved
    in calling you forth,
    sheltering a wild faith in life.
    Like a rose folded inward, hiding great fragrance,
    like a host watching over the sheep
    of the most cherished guest,
    You were so tenderly awaited.
    Little one, we sing to you now,
    calling you joy,
    calling you promise fulfilled,
    calling you sheer vastness and little drop of honey.
    You joined us here.
    May your earthly journey be cloaked
    with songs and praises evermore.
    Your mother and father’s vast hearts,
    deepening as they awaited you;
    Every tear they’ve ever shed for joy gathering and intensifying-
    For you, little drop of honey,
    coming across great distances
    just to see their faces at last,
    just to gaze upon the face of Love at last.”

  • Numbers 8:11

    And you shall bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation. And you shall gather the whole assembly of the sons of Israel together. And you shall bring the Levites before Jehovah. And the sons of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites. And Aaron shall offer the Levites before Jehovah for an offering of the sons of Israel, so that they may do the service of Jehovah.

  • Acts 6:3-6

    Therefore, brothers, look out among you seven men being witnessed to, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this duty. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. And the saying pleased all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicholas, a proselyte of Antioch. They set these before the apostles. And having prayed, they laid hands on them.

  • 1 Timothy 4:14-16

    Do not neglect the gift in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the body of elders. Meditate on these things; be in these things in order that your improvement may appear to all. Hold on to yourself and to the doctrine; continue in them, for doing this you shall both save yourself and those who hear you.

  • 1 Timothy 5:21-22

    I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you guard these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality. Do not lay hands quickly on anyone, neither be partaker of the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

  • 2 Timothy 1:3-6

    I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, taking recollection of the unfeigned faith that is in you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and in your mother Eunice. And I am persuaded that it is in you also. Therefore I remind you to inflame anew the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.

  • Genesis 48:8-16

    And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said to his father, They are my sons, whom God has given me in this place. And he said, Please bring them to me, and I will bless them. And the eyes of Israel were dim for age; he could not see. And he brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. And Israel said to Joseph, I had not thought I would see your face, and, lo, God has showed me also your seed. And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh in his left toward Israel’s right hand. And he brought them near to him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands. For Manasseh was the first-born. And he blessed Joseph and said, May God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who fed me all my life to this day, the Angel who redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads. And let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and let them grow like the fishes into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

  • Matthew 19:13-15

    Then little children were brought to Him, that He should put His hands on them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Allow the little children to come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven. And He laid His hands on them, and departed from there.

  • Mark 10:13-16

    And they brought children to Him, so that He should touch them. And His disciples rebuked those bringing them. But when Jesus saw, He was much displeased and said to them, Allow the little children to come to Me and do not hinder them. For of such is the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it. And taking them up in His arms, He put His hands on them and blessed them.

  • 1 Corinthians 7:14

    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.