Opening Words

“Welcome everyone! Today we are here to bless Joseph Michael. What you are about to witness here today is truly a celebration of love, and of life! As Joseph is here today, he is new and perfect, with no need of fixing or cleansing. He is a gift. His smile, his laughter, and his presence enrich the lives of all who know him. Only a fraction of the way through his first year here… and already he has made the world a better place.

There is a quote that says: ‘Every person is made of the atoms of stars that were born and perished billions of years ago. When two hearts created from the atoms of the same star find each other… we call them soul mates.’ and so to say that Grace and Ted and Joseph’s story began, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.…” Well, that would be accurate!

Yet in a more tangible sense Joseph’s journey was set in motion on October 24th of 2019, when… with many of you in attendance, Grace and Ted made their promises to take one another for better or for worse, but never for granted.

When Shakespeare wrote: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on”, was he referencing the foundation of true and lasting love that finally called Joseph into this world to join this family? I would like to think so. Yet it was more than the love his parents share, it was an interlocking chain of love stories going back generations.

When we think of all the things that had to happen… all the decisions that had to be made… the struggles that had to be overcome and the joys shared… all the people who had to meet and fall in love for Joseph to be the unique and beautiful human being here with us today… We glimpse the reason why “miraculous, gift and blessing” have always been the words we use when graced with a new life.

There are cultures that believe every human being is born with the seed of who we are supposed to become deep within us. It is a parent’s sacred obligation to nurture that seed, understanding that the child is the only one with the ability to realize their own dreams. There is something larger than ourselves that helps us through difficult times and makes wonderful times even better with the assurance that even when we are alone… we are all part of a creation larger than ourselves, that has an elegant design and a grand purpose. The desire to give a child the firmest foundation that we can is universal as is the awe and wonder that a couple feels as they see their child for the first time. Today we give thanks and celebrate the wonderful blessing that Joseph is to his parents, his family and the world, beginning with a prayer of gratitude and hope.

This family has been blessed with a new life. May the gift of Joseph’s presence bring joy and gladness to the hearts of all who love him. May he be given wisdom and inspiration
through all that the years will bring. May he find goodness in the simple pleasures of life and be rewarded with a life that is rich and full, in both the physical and spiritual context of its beauty. May Joseph be prosperous in all ways. May he love well and be well loved. Through each passage and season, may he always be surrounded by the warmth of family and friends. And may his days be forever filled with love and happiness.”

The Parents’ Vows

“Grace and Ted, the journey of parenthood is one of amazing beauty, this is clear just by looking at you both. The love that radiates from and around you and your child today shall change over the years. We gather here because it is our wish that Joseph grow to be a man who truly loves the life he is living. You most of all will be his guide on this journey. It is important to provide not only food and clothing to a child, but also time and love and respect. So it is only right that this ceremony should include your promise to nurture your son in all ways as he grows. Therefore as a promise to her and a reminder to yourselves as the years pass, I now ask you…

Do you promise to keep the bonds between you strong, thereby providing Joseph with a stable and loving home, giving her a firm foundation, and a good example of what it means to be committed to one another in love and joy, through difficult and wonderful times as parents, partners, teachers and friends?”

Parents: “Yes.”

“That you will value Joseph’s hopes and dreams and let him know that he should dream big and reach for the stars, secure in the foundations of a loving home and family in which he will always be welcomed, accepted, and loved for who she is and for who she is not?”

Parents: “Yes.”

“To give him a wide variety of experiences, sharing with him art and literature and showing him the beginnings of many a wondrous journey, nurturing and encouraging a sense of wonder and passion, and instilling in him the knowledge that life is a journey, not a destination?”

Parents: “Yes.”

“Do you promise to hold him close in your hearts always, yet still encourage him to stand on his own when the time comes so that he may discover and embrace his own true self?”

Parents: “Yes.”

“In honor of the promises made, bestow your blessing upon your child?”

Parents kiss their child

Naming

“Names have always been a powerful part of our identity. They signify acceptance and belonging to a group or a family. Grace and Ted have chosen the name Joseph Michael for their son.

Joseph was chosen because it means “he shall add” It is a name that was chosen with reverence and appreciation. Joseph is very much their little rainbow baby, and truly a divine gift. That Joseph adds so much hope, joy and love into this family, well… It really made the name extra special for his parents.

Michael was chosen to honor Grace’s father who passed many years ago when she was a child. He was an incredible man who they know watches over those he loved every single day. He was an amazing role model and did everything in the name of family. May this child grow up to be loving and generous. Like his grandfather.

We name you Joseph Michael. From this day forward, may you know Love to be your constant companion.”

Godparents Vow

“It is often mistakenly thought that the Godparents are the ones who shall raise a child in the event that the parents cannot. But this is not so. Godparents are those who promise they will be there to help the child grow spiritually. Theirs is a place in Joseph’s life almost like a guardian angel. The promise is one of a physical presence in his life as someone who he knows will always be standing quietly behind him, encouraging him to make good choices, and sharing with him the lessons they themselves have learned along the way. Grace and Ted have chosen Patrick and Danielle as those who will fill this special role.

Godparents come forward

On Joseph’s spiritual journey, he will go through many phases and although he will not always be able to come to his parents for guidance and support Grace and Ted take comfort in knowing that his godparents will always be there for him. Patrick, you understand the big picture of your family dynamics and are the one who can tell Joseph stories of his mom when she was his age. Danielle, you are the friend who has become family, and Grace and Ted know you will always be there to protect and guide their son.

By accepting the role of Godparent you say to Joseph and the world; I promise, I will be there for you as you grow into manhood. With this in mind I now ask you…

Will you, as best as you can, help take care of Joseph?
Protect him at all times from harm? Encourage, guide and support him in all his endeavors, help him recognize the beauty within himself and all things, so that he may become, not the man that we would wish for but the realization of his own hopes and dreams?”

Godparents: “We will.”

“May you always know how special you are to Grace and Ted that they would ask you to tend to the most precious thing that they have in this world.”

Godparents return to place

Reading

“Grace and Ted have asked Danielle, Joseph’s Godmother to come and read for us at this time.”

Danielle comes forward, introduces and delivers the reading

“May you be blessed, always. May your wishes all come true. May you always do for others and let others do for you. May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung, and may you stay forever young. May you grow up to be righteous. May you grow up to be true. May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. May you always be courageous; Stand upright and be strong. And may you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy. May your feet always be swift. May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift. May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung, and may you stay forever young”

Danielle returns to place

Pledge of Support

“The Parents and Godparents do not stand alone this day. The presence and support of all of you, family and friends, is needed for Joseph to grow strong and balanced. Each of you possesses such beautiful qualities, and strength of character that have been a blessing to Grace and Ted‘s life. Today we ask that you acknowledge your acceptance of the task of providing a supportive and safe community for Joseph. Through your presence and example, you all will help him discover his own extraordinary talents and contribute them towards a better world.

So, to everyone here, do you agree to teach young Joseph all the things you know to be true in your heart, so that when he is fully grown, she shall discover her own truths. He will know which path is his and shall travel it with joy. If you accept this responsibility, please answer now “We do.”

Guests: “We do.”

Opening Words

“To say that Grace and Ted were “Over the Moon” with joy at this child’s birth… well that would be accurate! Yet that we are here today also foretells the amazing achievements and accomplishments that Joseph will see in the brave new world that he will help to create. Let us pray that he will walk down this path of wisdom and wonder in the light of love.

With the support of everyone assembled here, we ask that the universe bless this child and bless this day of new beginnings. Smile upon him in wisdom and love. Teach him to follow the path through life that you have set him forth on at his birth. Give him the courage to dream big and reach for the stars, to see the value in that which is small and help those of the world cherish and preserve this Pale Blue Dot that we call home.

May you be blessed, today and always.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Joseph Michael.”