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II.  OTHER SERVICES, CEREMONIES

II. 1.  BAPTISM (CHRISTENING)

A. Liturgy

    1. Song (no. 308)  At the end of the song the minister with the Bible stands at the Lord table.

    2.  Beginning prayer. There is not defined text, just for example: "God, our creator and providence, with your blessing and love be with us, when this child is becoming a member of our church, and bless her/his life to grow in faith, hope and love as beloved child of the parents and Your." Amen!

    3. Reading from the Bible: Defined introduction: Dear parents, godparents, sisters and brothers. The main idea of my sermon it is written in ...  (text) ... as follows .... (reading the text).

    4. Sermon of baptism. Length of 10 minutes.

    5. Prayer.

    6. Lord Prayer.

    7. Baptism:  While the minister pouring the water to the child's head from a special chalice, he says: I baptize you ....., in the name of the only living true God and I consider you as a new member of the Unitarian Christian Church,  in following Jesus. Amen.

    8.  Benediction: There is no defined text, just for example: "God's blessing be with you, to grow in body and spirit, in kindness in front of God and people. Amen."

B. Guide lines considering baptism

    1. The place of the baptism is the church Just in justified cases can be done somewhere else, for example the minister's office, hospital etc...

    2. The time of the baptism is after the Sunday worship service before the closing song. Otherwise in other places anytime. If there is a baptism on communion holiday, then the baptism is after the communion.

    3. We baptize usually infants, babies, but in special cases we baptize adult too.

    4. After the baptism, the minister expresses his/her good wishes to the parents and godparents, than everybody in the church expresses their gratulations.

    5. It is desirable that the parents to stand out around the Lord table together with the godparents.

    6. The baptism chalice is on the Lord table, full of water. The remained water it is poured on flowers.

    7. The following Sunday the minister announces the baptism.

 

II. 2.  CONFIRMATION

    1. Before the Sunday worship service the children gather as the local custom is set.

    2. They march in the church with the minister and president.

    3.  The children sit around the Lord table.

    4. Worship service (see Sunday worship service, the minister's sermon's content is adapted to the occasion.)

    5. In the Announcements the minister announces the confirmation and the communion.

    6. After the benediction, as the organ sings, the minister comes down from the pulpit and stands in front of the Lord table.

    7. The minister introduces the children who will confirm, call each on name, they stand and sit again.

    8. Confirmation song no. 221, the children sing standing.

    9. Prayer: the children recites together the following prayer:  "Our good God, Loving Spirit! We came together here, in your holy home with our innocent rejoicing heart. We are not here for the first time, but we never prayed with this feeling, like now, when will have for the first time part of the communion, remembering Jesus' life and death.             Thank you our life and our parents life, giving them power to raise us. We give thanks for growing our faith and in this way we could grow up not just in body, but also in spirit and we could know our Unitarian teachings about faith and ethics.      Please strengthen our faith, grow in us the ability to love, let us keep (remain loyal) to the acquainted truth and to take full responsibility for our human calling, vocation.           Help us to become worthy followers of Jesus of Nazareth, loving sisters and brothers, now and forevermore. Amen"!

    10.  Asking from the children the questions from the catechism. Questions no. 30., 78., and 136. the children repeat together.

    11. Confirmation song no. 220, the children sing.

    12. The children' pledge, oath. Putting their right    hand over their heart, the children answers to the following questions:

            Do you believe, that God created this world, and this only One God takes care of humankind?                             I BELIEVE AND CONFESS!

            Do you believe, that these human beings were called (by God) to realize, accomplish and to live the goodness, the truth and love?             I BELIEVE AND CONFESS!

            Do you believe, that Jesus is God's best son, and his teaching to us is the way, the truth and the life?                              I BELIEVE AND CONFESS!

            Do you believe, that human beings led by God's Spirit, following Jesus' example can accomplish the Kingdom of God here on earth?         I BELIEVE AND CONFESS!

            Do you believe, that your Unitarian Christian faith, which during the history made great sacrifices and reached outstanding results, proclaims clearly the Gospel according to Jesus, the religion to  love God and your fellow (neighbor), the final goal of our life: the completeness, the perfection?                                 I BELIEVE AND CONFESS!

            If you believe, do you promise and pledge that you will remain faithful for ever (until the end of your life) to God, to the teachings of Jesus and to your Unitarian church?

                                                I PROMISE AND PLEDGE!

            Are you ready to seal your promise with the communion?

                                                I AM READY!

    13. Communion song, the children sing together with the congregation.

    14. Communion sermon and communion  (see communion).    The children will have communion for the first time, and after that, the parents, godparents, grandparents, relatives and all who wants can have communion.

    15. Prayer. The children recite together the following prayer:  "Our good God, loving Spirit! With grateful heart we give thanks for this special occasion, when in front of you and the congregation we could confess our faith and with the communion we committed oneself to love and serve God and humanity.              Let us take this feeling, with which our heart is full, in our homes and into the world, that this to become our power source.  To live with the clearance of mind, reason  with faithfulness and with a responsible love.      Be our guidance, be with us when we hesitate to do good; help us when we loose our power.        Keep us always in your love to remain faithful to our Unitarian religion and church.    Bless our confession and bless our whole life, now and forevermore.   Amen."

    16.  Confirmation song no. 222. the children sing.

    17.  Receiving like members: defined text, the ministers says:

                   " On the evidence of your confession and pledge, which you sealed with the communion I receive you as independent members of the  ............. Unitarian Church.             You get acquainted with our Unitarian history, be worthy of your ancestors spiritual heritage;  you know the present life, be conscious, active members in the congregation; the future is ahead, to be faithful, devoted carriers and bring forth our Unitarian faith and life conceptions, in serving God and humanity.  Amen."   If there is possibility ring the bell and play the organ.

    18.  Giving the confirmation certificate.   After the children write their names in the confirmation book, the minister gives the confirmation certificates reciting a biblical text.

    19.  The minister blesses the children. Benediction.

    20.  Greetings:  the president greets the children; a smaller child greets the recently confirmed children; an already confirmed child greets them; the confirming children greets the minister, the church leaders, the congregation, the parents.....

    21.   Closing song.

 

II. 3.  COMMUNION

A. Preparing the communion

    1. Preceding the communion with one Sunday, during the worship service   the minister announces the communion with the following text:   "Announce that next Sunday with the occasion of  ... (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Thanksgiving)... we will set the Lord table and we will put the bread and wine, for remembrance of Jesus' life and death.  During the holy week we prepare with repentant soul and Christian humbleness to become deserved guests to the Lord table. During the holy week every evening there will be worship services for preparing to the communion."

    2. During the holy week every evening the minister gives sermons or biblical exegesis to prepare the members for communion.

    3. When the holiday arrives, the worship service (see Sunday worship service liturgy) is a festive service according to the holiday. In the announcements the minister announces the communion with the following text: "As we announced last Sunday, now with ...(Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving) festive occasion the Lord table is set up, we put  the bread and wine for remembrance of Jesus' life and death. I ask you to prepare and be ready to come around the Lord table with Christian humbleness and love.  For this moment the bread and wine it was offered by ...........   There are other offertories as follows...........   After the reading the names the minister expresses gratitude for these offerings.

    4. After the Benediction, the minister comes down from the pulpit and sit in the ministers pew. From this moment starts the communion liturgy:

 

B. Communion liturgy

    1.  Communion song  (166. or 167., one verse only). At the end of the song, the minister stands near the Lord table, in front of the congregation.

    2.  Reading from the Bible. The defined text to introduce is: "Sisters and brothers! The communion sermon's main idea is written in .......... as follows..............

    3.  Communion sermon. (Length no more than 10 minutes)

    4.  Prayer.  The congregation stands.

    5.  Lord Prayer.

    6. Communion.  As the local custom requires, the members gather around the Lord table and the minister serves them with bread first and then wine. The members come and stand in several groups around the table - at once there is no place.  After each group the minister says a short prayer, quotes  from the Bible.

    7.  Closing prayer. Giving thanks to the occasion,   calling  the attention to the congregational life.

    8.  Benediction. Not a defined text, but for example: "At the end, dear sisters and brothers, to remain in good health, to prosper, get comfort, to be in mutual understanding and live in peace with each others. The Spirit of peace and love be with you. Amen."

 

C. Point of views relating the communion

    1. Communion time is at the first festive day morning worship service, but it can be also at the afternoon service or second day morning, depending how the members require.

    2. During serving the communion to one group, the members sitting in the pews, are singing.

    3. The only condition to have communion is the confirmation. Those  who are not confirmed we can't serve communion. We serve communion to people with other denomination too.

    4.  Setting the table it happens as the local custom requires. The minister's wife helps a lot by taking care that the table cloths and chalices to be clean. The minister cuts the bread, saying a short prayer before starting.

    5. The remained bread and wine it is taken to the parsonage and it is consumed by the member together. The minister saves some bread and wine to take to the ill people.

 

D. Ill people's communion

    1. The minister, preceding the communion with one week asks the congregation to announce if somebody is ill, can't come to the church and wants to have communion at home. The minister is announced where he has to take the communion.

    2..The service liturgy is:  a) opening words, b) reading from the Bible (text related to the holiday), c) prayer, d) Lord prayer, e) communion, f) benediction. It can be included a song to.

    3.  The minister is not alone, but it is with somebody from the church leadership, or his wife.

    4.  If the family members of the ill people want's to have communion (they are confirmed) the ministers serves the communion.

    5. If this happens soon after the church communion, the minister and his companion doesn't have communion, because they already had.

    6. The communion for the ill people can be served at any time during the year - if it is asked - even there is no any anniversary.

 

II. 4.  MARRIAGES

A. Liturgy

   1. Song (224, 185, 195....)

    2. Opening words. For example:  "Show us   O Lord your way, let us walk in your truth and worship you from our clean heart. Amen"

    3.  Reading from the Bible. Defined introduction:   "Dear young couple, sisters and brothers. My Marriage sermon's main idea it is written in ....... as follows......

    4.  Marriage sermon.  Length 15-20 minutes.

    5.  After the sermon, the minister asks the couple: "Let hold your right hands and repeat after me: I,  ..... ..... promise, pledge in the name of the only true God, that, .....  ..... whose right hand is in my right hand, who is my legal wife, I wish to make happy with a true and loyal love. I will not leave never, not in her/his healthiness, not in her/his illness, not in her/his happiness or unhappiness. I live with her/him, I will rejoice, I will endure and suffer until my death and until her/his death. In this way to help me God."                The "Amen." is said by the minister.   The woman says her maiden name.

    6.  Payer.

    7.  Lord prayer.

    8.  Benediction: for example: "God bless your marriage. Remain in good health, to live in peace and mutual understanding. The God of peace and love be with you."  Amen.

    9.  Closing song  (224, 31).

 

B.  Point of views relating the marriages

    1. The minister celebrates just legal and proved marriages.

    2. The marriage' place is the church, but it can be the office or home.

    3. The couples must be baptizes and confirmed.  If they, or one of them is not, before the marriage has to  be baptizes or confirmed.

    4.  Next Sunday the minister announces the service.

 

II. 5.  MARRIAGE JUBILEE

    1. Song (199).

    2.  Opening words.

    3.  Bible text reading.

    4.  Appropriate sermon.

    5.  After the sermon, the minister asks the couple: "Now hold your right hands and say after me: I ... ... give gratitude to God, to the caretaker Spirit, that ..... years ago it gave to me husband/wife and to my children's father/mother in the person near me .... .... .  Thank you the power through her/him; the faithfulness in her/him; the faith which she/he gave; and the love through which our life has purposes and reasons. I promise to remain ongoing a faithful husband/wife in happiness and sadness, in health and illness, until the last beat of my heart. Amen."

    6.  Prayer.

    7.  Lord prayer.

    8.  Benediction.

    9. Closing song.

 

II. 6.  FUNERAL

A. At home   in case when the service is in the church.

    1. Song.

    2. Short prayer.

    3.  Song - funeral procession formation.

    4. Funeral procession to the church.  Singing songs until the arrival in the church.

B. In the church or in the house

    1. Beginning song  (9,10,12,22)

    2.  Main song (57,58,59,189,199,279)

    3.  Prayer.

    4.  Lord prayer.

    5.  Middle song (297,298,303)

    6.  Bible reading:"Morning congregation, beloved sisters and brothers. My funeral sermon's main idea it is written in .... as follows...

    7.  Funeral sermon. Length 20-25 minutes.

    8. Farewell speech - the livings are saying good by -

    9. Prayer.

    10.  Benediction.

    11.  Closing song (304,296)

C. In funeral room

    1. Opening words.

    2. Song (199)

    3.  Bible reading

    4. Funeral sermon.  Length 15-20 minutes.

    5. Prayer.

    6.  Farewell speech

    7. Lord payer.

    8.  Benediction.

    9. Closing song.

D. At the tomb (in the cemetery)

    1. Bible reading.

    2. Speech - meditation  (5 minutes).

    3. Lord payer.

    4.  Song (during the burial)

    5. Benediction  (at the end of the burial).    The minister must stay until the end of the burial.

E. Point of views relating the funerals

    1. The minister fills out a questionnaire regarding the funeral.

    2.  Ringing the church bell as the local custom requires.

    3.  Before the funeral, in the evenings the family, relatives and others gathers around the deceased person to express their farewell. The minister do not go there.

    4. The time of the funeral is set by the local custom.

    5.  The funeral happens with closed coffin.

    6.  Next Sunday the minister announces the service in the church.

III. OCCASIONALLY WORSHIP SERVICES