The Service of the Naming of the Child

If you follow these pages then you know that I have been on sabbatical for the last few weeks. I have been able to travel to different churches and to worship with the community there. Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend the Divine Liturgy with my friend Fr. Anthony Perkins and the folks at St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
After the Liturgy I was asked to celebrate the service at the naming of a child for Fr. Anthony and Pani Tina. I have never served this particular service nor have I seen it done. What an honor to be able to provide such a wonderful spiritual event in the life of the child and her family.
In the tradition of the Orthodox Church, the child is named formally on the eighth day after birth, following the tradition of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. Unfortunately it is a service that seems to have fallen out of disuse as has the service of the Blessing of the Mother, which I also served yesterday. The service is short but very meaningful.
The service comes out of the Service Book as edited by Elizabeth Hapgood. The language is that of the King James era, but I am finding that I like this language more and more.
The service begins with the trisagon prayer and then the following prayer is recited by the priest whilst making the sign of the cross on the forehead, lips and breast of the child.
O Lord our God, we pray unto thee, and we beseech thee, that the light of thy countenance may be shown upon this thy servant (name); and that the cross of thine Only-begotten Son may be graven in (his/her) heart, and in (his/her) thoughts: that (he/she) may flee from the vanity of the world and from every evil snare of the enemy, and may follow after thy commandments. And grant, O Lord, that thy holy Name may remain unrejected by (him/her); and that (he/she) may be united, in due time, to thy holy Church; and that the dread Sacraments of thy Christ may be administered unto (him/her): That, having lived according to thy commandments, and preserved without flaw the seal, (he/she) may receive the bliss of the elect in thy kingdom; through the grace and love towards mankind of thine Only-begotten Son, with who also thou art blessed, together with thine all-holy, and good, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
The taking the child in his arms, the priest will stand before the Holy Doors of the Church or before the image of the Holy Theotokos and says the following prayer:
Hail, O Virgin Birth-giver of God, thou who art full of grace! For from thee hath shone forth the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, who giveth light to them that are in darkness. And rejoice, thou aged, righteous man, that didst receive in thine arms the Redeemer of our souls, who giveth unto us resurrection!

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