Special Section: Rite On

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Remember Me

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Death is one of life’s most difficult passages. Whether it’s the
passing of a child or an adult family member, these ideas can
assist you as you plan funerals and walk alongside families during
a difficult time.

Commemorative Keepsakes

When an infant or child dies, we give the parents an engraved
silver ornament with the child’s name and birth date. 

We’ve also made keepsake quilts for families. If you have someone
in your congregation who quilts, create a blanket that has fabric
from a child’s favorite blanket or T-shirt. You can also use fabric
blocks created by children in the child’s Sunday school class with
pictures or words depicting their favorite memory of the
child.

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Cara Martens

Irving, Texas

Still Praising His Name

When assisting families with funeral preparation for a child, I
always ask which songs their child liked best from Sunday school or
vacation Bible school. With the family’s permission, I incorporate
those songs into the service. We’ve invited our children’s choir or
worship team to lead these kid favorites. It’s a wonderful way to
celebrate the child’s faith and for children in attendance to
understand that death is also a celebration of life.

At the end of the service, I have helium balloons available for
kids to attach notes of remembrance to. We gather everyone outdoors
before leaving for the cemetery to pray and then symbolically send
the balloons to heaven. (You may need to check with your local
airport before launching balloons.)

Carmen Kamrath

Loveland, Colorado

Favorite Stories

I attended a funeral for a woman who was very close to her
grandchildren. To honor their special bond, the oldest grandchild
invited all kids in attendance up front to hear her read her
grandma’s favorite storybook. It was touching to watch a teenager
read the very book her grandmother had read to her when she was
young.

Carmen Kamrath

Loveland, Colorado

Life-Changing Water

Publicly proclaiming a faith commitment through baptism is a
significant point in many people’s faith walk. Help make the
experience memorable for children and families who observe this
rite with these baptism ideas.

In Their Own Words

Many kids feel intimidated when asked to speak in front of a large
group. But listening to how kids made their decision to follow
Jesus can be life-changing for others. So prior to your baptism
service, conduct video interviews with the kids to capture on
camera their path to faith and what it means to them.

Before each child is baptized, show an edited video clip that
captures the essence of the child’s faith. Make copies of the
videos for families as a keepsake.

Courtney Wilson

Vancouver, Washington

Full Circle

If your church allows it, encourage parents to actively participate
in their child’s baptism. It’s meaningful and memorable for parents
to assist in immersing their child in the waters of baptism. If
your denomination calls for an ordained pastor to conduct baptisms,
consider having parents share with children the joy and celebration
of witnessing them profess their personal faith. Do this by
videotaping the parents’ statement to their children or having them
come up front to offer a brief statement.

Carmen Kamrath

Loveland, Colorado

Tell the World

Celebrate kids’ baptisms with everyone in your ministry by creating
a baptism poster to hang in your area. Purchase a poster-sized
frame and insert pictures of kids in your upcoming service along
with their ages and details about them, such as their favorite
Bible verse or how they decided to follow Jesus.

Then take lots of photos at your baptism service of the same kids
and insert them into the frame for families to see.

Courtney Wilson

Vancouver, Washington

Remember the Day

On my database I input the date kids are baptized. On the
anniversary of their baptism, I send them a card to remind them of
their special day. I include a Bible verse to encourage them in
their faith walk for the upcoming year, and I commit to pray for
children and their relationship with Jesus on their anniversary
dates. Kids are often surprised that I remember when they were
baptized and are grateful to be reminded that their decision was
significant enough to be remembered yearly.

Carmen Kamrath

Loveland, Colorado

     

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