Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

Naming: A Ceremony of Welcome

By Rabbi Rami Shapiro
two people looking at new baby, smiling

(The child is carried into the room and the congregation says:)

Barukh ha-ba

Blessed is one who comes in the name of love.

(Mother takes child and says:)
There is a new light in our hearts and in our home. Let these candles celebrate this child's coming forth from darkness; let them herald new life and illumine new becomings.

(Parent lights a candle and says:)
Blessed is the Source of Life, the Fountain of Being whose mitzvot direct us toward wisdom that we might learn the sanctity of life and love.
(Parents say together:)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה

Barukh ata adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
she-heh-kheh-yanu, v'kee-y'-manu, v'he-ge-anu
laz-man ha-zeh.


Blessed is the Source of Life, the Fountain of Being
whose power enlivens us, sustains us,
and enables us to reach this moment of joy.

(Parent lifts Kiddush cup and says:)
This is the vessel of new hope, the wine of new vision. This is the vessel of the covenant that has bound our people to the Way of Wisdom for thousands of years. This is the wine of joy celebrating the sweet yearnings of a life just begun.

Barukh ata adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam
Blessed is the Source of Life, the Fountain of Being
whose power gives birth to the fruit of the vine.

(Parent says:)
On the __ day of the month of __ , 19 _, corresponding to the day of the month __ , 57 of the Hebrew calendar, we give to our child the English name and the Hebrew name __ . On this day, too, we give our child the name Jew, and thus welcome a new life into the community of Israel. As s/he has entered into the covenant of life, so may s/he enter into the ways of Torah, chuppah, and ma-asim tovim: wisdom, love, and good works.

(Parent:)
We call unto the Source of Life
in thanksgiving for the wonder of this gift of life.
We are humbled by the blessings
and responsibilities of parenthood
and our participation in the miracle of creation.
May we learn to love without smothering.
May we learn to house without imprisoning.
May we learn to give without imposing.
May we learn to live today
that yesterday and tomorrow might find
their own way in the world.

(Grandparent or Godparent:)
We give thanks to Life for the gift of life,
and stand in wonder
before the awesome task of parenting.
Blessed is the Way of Life
that makes parent rejoice with child.
May the Ineffable One fill this child with wonder
now and forever.
May her/his parents rejoice in her/his coming,
and may they master the skills
to teach her/him the Way of Torah:
the Right Path of Meeting and Responsibility.
May their deeds inspire her/him to truth,
and may s/he make of her/his life a wellspring of healing.
As s/he grows into adulthood, may s/he come to discover her/his Place
and have the courage to take it.
May s/he who is called grow in blessing
and attain the joy of Torah, chuppah, and ma-asim tovim:
wisdom, love, and good deeds.
And let us say: Amen.

Complete Ceremony

Ingredients of Prayer: Writing Contemporary Liturgy

What makes a prayer a prayer? What are the varieties of ways to encounter prayer in our daily lives and make it our own? How do I write my own prayers? Join acclaimed liturgist Alden Solovy in a playful and inquisitive exploration of the ingredients of prayer. Connect with other seekers and write your own prayers in a safe and supportive environment. Classes meet online through Zoom and begin October 16th. All are welcome!

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