Interfaith Jewish / Christian Baby Blessing and Naming Ceremony
Welcome or Opening
“Welcome family and friends, today we are here to celebrate baby Abigail’s birth and to officially bless, name and welcome her to this family and community. What you are all about to witness here today is truly a celebration of love, and of life! As Abigail is here today, she is new and perfect. She is a gift. Her smile, her laughter, and her presence enrich the lives of all who know her. Only 3 months old, and already she has made the world a better place. We are here to acknowledge that children are the greatest gift and most blessed responsibility bestowed upon a family.
A new life has joined your family. We celebrate baby Abigail’s arrival to the world and the excitement of her new life. She comes into this world bringing a renewed life and the gift of hope for all of us, who have the honor of sharing in the innocence and delight of her spirit.
At this time, I would like you to join us in a blessing for baby Abigail and her family.
Dear God, we ask for your steadfast blessings, love and grace to be showered upon baby Abigail, and her family. May they always know the comfort of your love and presence in the daily day-to-day life, and may your Light shine upon them in all that they do. May Abigail always know the gift of unconditional love and joy. May God bless her and protect her. And May God’s presence shine upon all who are here with us today, and may the face of God turn to us and grant us all peace in our hearts.
“In today’s world there is no greater gift than the continuation through the generations of family.
Robin and Edward, and Debra and Edward; you have been wonderful parents to Bonnie and Jason. You have always been there for them encouraging and supporting them through all their trials and triumphs, imparting your wisdom gently and giving your love unconditionally.
Throughout Abigail’s life you will be the ones who tell the stories of all the wonderful people who have shaped your lives. Many of those people are no longer with this world. Your parents, your grandparents, your great grandparents. as far back as the stories you have heard and beyond.
As you Remember what it felt like to be with these loved ones, you will pass this gift to Abigail, so that she may come to know her ancestors and the lineage that is her birthright. In today’s world, we cannot know who we are unless we know where we come from. Your words and memories will be as much of a gift to Abigail as her presence is a joy to the soul of this family.”
“Bonnie and Jason, as you hold your daughter will you now reflect on the gratitude and joy in your heart, remembering to be thankful for all that has come to pass, and all that has made it possible for Abigail to come to be.”
The Parent’s Vows
“Bonnie and Jason, the journey of parenthood is one of amazing beauty, this is clear just to look at you both. The love that radiates from and around you and your daughter today shall change over the years. We gather here because it is our wish that Abigail grow to be a woman who truly loves her life. You most of all will be her 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 daughter 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 Abigail 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 husband and wife, parents, partners, teachers and friends?”
Bonnie and Jason: yes, we do.
Father: (I will hold Jason’s hands around baby Abigail)
“Into these hands do I place the blessings of spirit and the responsibilities of being a father. With your hands, will you uphold your child’s future. Do you receive these blessings of grace?
Response: Yes, I Do
Mother: (I’ll hold Bonnies hands around Baby Abigail)
“Into these hands, that hold this child, I place the blessings of spirit and the responsibilities of being a Mother. Do you receive these blessings of grace?
Response: Yes, I Do
The essence of this ceremony today is to celebrate and welcome Abigail into our hearts and into this already blessed family. A family that extends to include all of you who Bonnie and Jason call family, you who have shared with them life’s most sacred moments; they ask you to share and bear witness to a new chapter of their lives, as we welcome Abigail into this world and this family.
All of us here today are bestowed with the gift of light and love that is Abigail’s spirit. For those of you who have pleasure of holding her, you know what a force that spirit is in this world; so grounded, strong and beautiful. She helps to remind us of all that is new, hopeful and life-affirming.
Our ceremony today is truly unique and individual to Abigail. Abigail has come into a family that has so many gifts to bring to her and she is so very fortunate to be able to experience two of the oldest and most beautiful religions; Judaism and Christianity. Jews and Christians hold both similarities and differences. They share a belief in a God who is loving and who can be approached through prayer and worship.
Today we will share aspects that create a truly unique ceremony that expresses the values and beliefs inherent in all of us, and in all religions. Bonnie and Jason look forward to raising Abigail to understand and celebrate both of their religious traditions. There are many paths to becoming a good person, with a strong internal moral compass and a joy of living. Abigail is free to learn from and embrace both sides of the spiritual paths that have come together, and will make her who she is. So not only is this a joyous occasion, but a spiritual one, as well.
Both Jews and Christians celebrate religious rituals at the beginning of life. Most Jewish and Christian birth rituals also bestow a name upon a new baby. Bonnie and Jason share a common belief in a spiritual higher power. They believe in the beauty of humanity and the goodness in all people. They believe in the richness of tradition and wish to share with their daughter the traditions of their separate families to create their own spiritual journey together.
The first section of our ceremony, the baby naming, takes its roots from the Jewish faith. There is a midrash (which is an imaginative story based on the bible) which says “every person has three names; the one chosen by her parents, the one that others call her, and the one she acquires for herself”. Names have always had powerful associations in many religions; In Jewish tradition Hashem, “the name,” is one of the many indirect ways of referring to God. And in the bible, Naming was the first independent human act.
James’s job in Eden was to name the birds in the air and every living thing, and this was no small project. Naming a baby can feel somewhat like a self-fulfilling prophecy; a beautiful name will produce a beautiful soul, or a strong name suggests endurance and strength. A name has a history, a life and a purpose, and it will be carried and honored by Abigail her whole life.
“Jewish children living outside of Israel are traditionally given a Hebrew name for use in religious rituals, and a secular name for purposes of civil birth records and daily use. As a child, Bonnie was given the Hebrew name Shana by her parents. Today, Bonnie and Jason would like to present their daughter, Abigail with her own Hebrew name.”
Today, we enter the book of names, a new daughter. We give to you, Our God and God of our mothers and fathers! Sustain this child through her parents loving care. Let her be known by the names of Abigail Eden bat Bonnie – Shana and Jason. May this little girl grow into a womanhood as a blessing to her family and to all humanity.
Meaning of the name Abigail
The A from Abigail is after Jason’s maternal grandmother Alice
And the B is after Bernice (which is her middle name) is after Bonnie’s maternal grandmother Bernice.
The name: Abigail- אביגיל: is an Old Testament name. She was the wife of King David and renowned for her beauty, wisdom and power.
In Hebrew, the meaning of the name Abigail is:
Avi : Father of
Gil – Rejoice, happiness
So, Abigail makes her father rejoiced or she is her father’s joy. Her name produces joy, intelligence, power, wisdom, honesty and and beauty. Her name is a source of great happiness.
The name: Eden- עדן
The name Eden is after Bonnie’s paternal grandmother Edith.
Eden (Hebrew: עֵדֶן) as a given name, has several derivations, from the Biblical Garden of Eden, meaning: Paradise and delight. The Garden of Eden was the name of the paradise where Adam and Eve were created and lived before eating from the Tree of Knowledge.
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Today we simply give thanks and celebrate all the many wonderful blessings Abigail brings, and do our best to remember, and be thankful for, the very special role that we all have in her life.
Candle Lighting Ceremony – Parents
For centuries fire, has symbolized life, spirit, strength, initiation, and rites of passage. Today each of your candles represents your spirit, you wish of hope, and blessings for your daughter Abigail. Together you light the new center candle of light that represents Abigail, and her light in the world, and represents this family that has been blessed with a new daughter.
Light was the first of God’s creations; as light appeared, it brought with it the possibility of all the wondrous things to follow. We, too kindle lights of hope, of understanding, of celebration, of countless new possibilities. This little Daughter with whom these parents have been blessed has already brought light into their lives. May God’s radiance continue to shine upon them. May she grow to be a source of light to all those around her. And may her radiance illuminate the world.
“Water has long been considered by many as the source of life…. Water is in and around all of us, and is also a symbol of the human spirit— always in motion, never ceasing, only taking new forms, every element of God’s creation needs water to grow, thrive, and survive.
Because we believe and know in our hearts that Abigail made her way onto this earth as a pure, innocent, and perfect soul, this ceremony is not intended to cleanse her from sin. It is instead to celebrate her life, and to signify our intentions to nourish her heart, her mind, her body, and her spirit.
Prayer for a Newborn Child
We are humbled by the awesome power of this moment.
From Bonnie and Jason’s lives they have brought forth life.
Through their love they have fashioned a child of love.
May this child be a blessing to all he meets
And may she count all of you among her blessings as well.
Baby wrapped in a tallit:
May the Lord Bless you and guide you
May the Lord shine her face upon you and be gracious to you
May the Lord lift up his face to you and give to you peace.
Wine / Kiddush
We are ready now to recite the Kiddush, the blessing for the wineWe are honored to be using the kiddish cup from Bonnie and Jason’s ceremony. This cup will one day be passed on to Abigail.
Wine blessing: ברוךאתההאלוהינומלךהעולםבוראפריהגפן
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. (Amen)
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 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.
Welcome, welcome to this breathtaking world. We have been waiting for you. Waiting to see your beautiful face, to hearthe sound ofyour cry, to kiss you, hold you, rock you. You are a miracle. You are a gift from God. May God watch over you in love and bless you and your family with love, happiness and with health.
He who blessed our mothers Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah; May he bless this lovely girl. And let her name be Abigail Eden, daughter of Jason and Bonne.
With good fortune and at a blessed time. May they raise her in good health, peace and tranquility, and may her parents merit to witness her joy and her marriage.
And let us say: AMEN
The Shehecheyanu blessing (Hebrew: שהחיינו “Who has given us life”) is a common Jewish prayer said to celebrate special occasions. It is said to be thankful for new and unusual experiences. The blessing has been recited by Jews for nearly 2000 years.
The Shehechyanu expresses our gratitude for being able to celebrate new occasions. It is my pleasure now to recite the Shehecheyanu:
Blessed are you, creator of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us, and permitted us to celebrate this joyous occasion.
Closing Words and Presentation
“The Hebrew word for joy, simcha, is also the Hebrew word for party. Today’s blessing is a simcha that signifies the triumph of life, the promise of a new generation. According to Jewish law and tradition, all life-cycle events include a meal of celebration and expressions of happiness. Today shall be no different as the Linnick Johnson’s family invites you all to celebrate the blessing of their daughter, Abigail Eden.Today shall be no different as Bonnie and Jason and their daughter Abigail Eden , invite you all to help them celebrate the blessing of their Simcha!