This idea is a lovely and simple way to involve family and friends of all ages in the baptism service, and to encourage them to think about their own faith journey.
All you need is:
- Some coloured paper (sugar paper works really well, but any standard 80gsm paper will work)
- A pair of scissors
- A font with plenty of water in it!
Prior to the service, you will need to cut out enough paper flowers for everyone to have one. They don’t need to be perfect, and if you put three of four sheets of paper together, you can cut out more than one at once. They should be about 5 cm across.
That’s it for the preparation, then just make sure that everyone at the service has one.
Do the baptism as usual!
After the baptism and taken place (it doesn’t really matter when), invite everyone to take their flower, and explain that as they fold in each petal in turn into the centre, they will be invited to pray quietly about a different thing. So if your flower has five petals, then you need five topics for prayer. We did it as follows:
Fold in the first petal.
As you do so pray for the person/people being baptised, and for their parents and godparents.
Fold in the second petal.
As you do so pray for all people being baptised today and joining the wonderful worldwide family of the church.
Fold in the third petal.
As you do so pray for those people you know who on your hearts and minds today. Maybe because they are unwell, struggling, or unable to be here today.
Fold in the fourth petal.
As you do so pray for those people we have seen or heard about on the news. People whose lives have been devastated by war or natural disaster.
Fold in the fifth petal.
As you do so pray for yourself. Is there something you would like to say to God today. If you have been baptised, maybe you want to reaffirm your commitment to follow Jesus. If you haven’t, maybe its something you want to think about doing.
Next, invite people (if they wish to) to come forward to place their folded flower into the water in the font, as a symbol that God hears their prayers, and wants to bless them. Make sure to tell them to pause and watch their flower ‘bloom’ a symbol of God’s transforming love.
Once everyone who wants to has placed their flowers, you will have a font full of prayer flowers.