Opening Words

Ceremony begins with the Godmother holding the child

“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of God, Family and Friends, to celebrate the blessing of Raelynn Shea.

February 20th, at 12:40pm on a beautiful winter’s day, Raelynn Shea came into this world like a ray of light.

She didn’t come completely willingly, however… Raelynn wasn’t quite ready to leave the comfort of her mama’s womb.  She was two days late and so Christie had to be induced. It would be nineteen hours later, after an epidural, dilation and a solid hour and a half of pushing, that Raelynn was finally placed upon Christie’s chest, Eddie cut the cord, and they all shared their first family embrace.

And with that first embrace, Raelynn reminded her new family of something incredible. Because that’s what the miracle of new life does for us…

It reminds us of how much love we are capable of.

When Raelynn Shea came into the world, she brought with her the innocence and wonder that we can only experience when witnessing that miracle of new life.

The coming of Raelynn awakens within this family all of their hopes, fears, joys, and the challenges that we all must face in order to grow and realize our nature as compassionate humans, and Beloved children of God.

What you are about to witness today is a celebration of Love and family, a formal welcoming of Raelynn’s life into your community, and a blessing for her and her journey yet to come.

Raelynn is perfect. Our blessing of her today is not to correct something, but to welcome her and to marvel at the unique gifts she will bring to the world.

In anointing Raelynn today, in Christening her, we formally welcome her Spirit – her Christ Consciousness – to shine and reveal itself over the course of her life.

It has been said that in a Christening, the Divine comes down and surrounds the child with Its love. In truth, that Love is always there. That’s Raelynn’s birthright. It’s the birthright of us all, and it exists no matter what words you might use to describe it.

Yet, as humans we crave ceremony. Because it’s in these moments that we consciously choose to remember our connection to all that guides and supports us. It’s in these moments that we honor the mysteries of life, and it’s in these moments that we remember the light we all share as children of God.

Jesus said:

‘Let the little children come unto me and forbid them not; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’

It’s here that Jesus reminds us that the gateway to awakening is to become as little children. What are the qualities of a child? Innocence, wonder, laughter, exploration, trust, and a deep dependence on their teachers to guide them to and through all that they need to know…

Jesus gave unto us two great commandments: To love God with all our hearts, all of our mind, and all of our strength; and to love one another as we would have others share their love with us.”

As parents, guides and teachers, it is our responsibility to learn to live our lives in this way, so that we might be examples of this to Raelynn.

Finally, remember this… We don’t teach these lessons with our words nearly as much as we demonstrate them in our actions, our openness, and our vulnerability… In our willingness to learn for ourselves, and in our willingness to grow, heal, and to forgive.

As Raelynn brings to us the gift of new life and hope, so do we as her caregivers give her the promise that we will do our best to always grow alongside her.

Parents Vows

“Eddie and Christie, the journey of parenthood is one of incredible richness… even when it’s not easy.

Christie, I know that you and Raelynn both had some challenges adjusting to your post-pregnancy lives. Colic and Postpartum depression challenge even the most prepared parents. But you did it. Your strength and love for Raelynn carried you through, along with support from Eddie and from your families this past year. And I’m so happy to hear that you and Raelynn are getting on so well now! Hopefully this will last until at least her teenage years!

Eddie was scared to have a little girl. For men, it’s not always easy to prepare for something like this. We have a hard enough time relating to women our own age! How do we handle the intense energy and power that comes from a strong-willed little girl? But Eddie, you have discovered that the bond between father and daughter is beyond all that you could have imagined. Now Eddie just wants more daughters!

Christie and Eddie, the love that surrounds you and Raelynn is eternal, and yet the way you experience it will change over the years. Remember that every moment is an opportunity to renew that commitment of love and to share it with Raelynn and your whole family.

We gather here because it is your wish that Raelynn Shea grow to be a woman who knows love, knows God, knows family, and truly loves her life.

You, most of all, will be her guide on this journey. Therefore, as a promise to her, I now ask you both:

Do you promise to teach Raelynn not ‘who’ or ‘what’, but how to love? Do you promise to teach her to trust, to respect, and to dream, so that she may truly participate in the remarkable journey that is life?

Parents: “Yes.”

To be open about your triumphs as well as your missteps so that Raelynn will have the opportunity to learn from your journey, and yet still be free to learn her own lessons in life.

Parents: “Yes.”

That you will value her hopes and dreams, allow her to discover her own faith, and let her know that she will always be welcomed, accepted and loved for who she is?

Parents: “Yes.”

That everyone Raelynn encounters in her life is entitled to that same love, respect, and acceptance.

Parents: “Yes.”

To expose her to a variety of experiences, instilling in her a sense of wonder and passion, and the knowledge that she alone has the power to realize her completeness?

Parents: “Yes.”

Do you promise to hold her close in your hearts always, yet still encourage her to stand on her own when the time comes so that she may discover her own true self?

Parents: “Yes.”

Charge to Godparents

“A child’s Godparents are their guardian angels here on earth. A Godparents promise is to be a physical, practical, and spiritual presence in a child’s life; it is an honor and a blessing for all.

April, you have supported yourself since you were eighteen. Your strength, independence, and deep belief in being a good human is why you were chosen to be Godmother to Raelynn.

Douglas, you are not afraid to change course when something isn’t working out the way you imagined. You have an explorer’s heart and an entrepreneurial spirit which is only strengthened by your kindness and caring. You are honest, genuine and generous, and for these reasons, you have been chosen as Godfather to Raelynn.

April and Douglas, as Godparents to Raelynn, you will be given the wisdom and ability to hold within your heart forever Raelynn’s spiritual welfare. You are charged with the responsibility of seeing to the spiritual welfare of this child should the need arise, and it is you who stands as her spiritual counselors.

April and Douglas, do you accept this duty and charge?”

Godparents: “We do.”

“Do you promise to love, honor, support and encourage Raelynn throughout her life?”

Godparents: “We do.”

Christening of Name

“What name have you chosen for this child?”

Parents: “Raelynn Shea”

“So be it. We Christen you Raelynn Shea” in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I Christen you that you may know the pure and Holy Spirit of God. May you come to know God within your heart all the days of your life.

Baptism

Rev. Joe blesses the holy water. Raelynn is held with her head over a bowl to catch the water

“Raelynn, as a child of the covenant, receive this blessing. In Baptism you are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever.

Rev. Joe baptizes Raelynn and then makes the sign of the cross over her head.

I baptize you Raelynn Shea in the name of the Father; and of the Son; and in the name of the Holy Spirit; Amen.

Let us pray,

Almighty God, we place ourselves under the guidance of your Holy Spirit. Grant us – and this child now dedicated to you – a clear understanding of the duties and obligations we now assume.

We pray for the care and protection of Raelynn in body and soul. We surrender her to your hands. Send your angels to bless and attend to her always. May her heart grow strong, may she love patiently, and may she learn the power of forgiveness. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.”

Anointing of Oil

“Throughout the Bible, anointing with oil was an act in recognition of wealth, prominence, inheritance and position. Yet in the anointing of Christ before his death on the cross, we were shown that the true measure of possession, inheritance and wealth is not found by worldly measures.

Raelynn, your family and I will now anoint thee to remind you, and all of us here, of the true wealth you now possess as one forever in the
Kingdom of God. No one could possess more than this.

Rev. Joe anoints Raelynn’s chest

“In the name of the Father; of the Son; and the Holy Spirit; Amen.”

Candle Ceremony

“The lighting of candles has many spiritual meanings. The light of candle represents the light of a person’s life. The flame represents the eternal truth of God. The light shining forth represents God’s truth shining forth upon the world.

To collectively light a candle represents the sharing and fellowship of faith; and in Christianity specifically, it traditionally represents the unity of the individual believers in Christ with the body of believers of Christianity, both in this world and in heaven.

Ultimately, what’s most important is that in lighting these candles today, we acknowledge the joining of our individual lights into one… One light, one life, one love, one family, and one community in God forever and ever, Amen.

I now ask April, Douglas, Christie and Eddie all to take their candles and light them. Then together, light the center candle for Raelynn, as the guiding light of his life.

Parents and Godparents light their tapers then together they light the center candle

I ask that at the conclusion of this service, each of you keep your candle for this reason:

Should there be a time in Raelynn’s future for which he faces difficult times of trial or be called upon to make grave decisions – of hardship or joy or become lost in spirit – you might find a quiet place alone to yourself. Light this candle, or another, and pray in whatever way feels right for you, to ask for the safekeeping and healing of Raelynn.

Closing Words and Presentation

Raelynn, from this day onward, no matter how dark the world may seem nor how alone and lost you may feel, you shall never be alone again, never without hope, or assurance of peace.  For you have a family that loves you, a community that will keep you, a Spirit that will guide you, and a God that will always see and celebrate the perfect light that lives within you.

The Lord Bless you and Keep you; Make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. Lift His Countenance unto you and give you peace.

By the grace of Spirit, Amen.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you, Raelynn Shea.