Who Participates: Pastor, adoptive parents, adoptee

Materials: "Occasional Services: A Companion to Lutheran Book of Worship"

The Ritual: This simple prayer is found in "Occasional Services, A Companion to Lutheran Book of Worship." This particular prayer could be used in the context of a church service, during a pastoral visit, or as part of a ceremony or gathering to celebrate an adoption, according to Lutheran Pastor Joel Ingebritson.

"Father of the fatherless, you give your children a home in which to dwell; and like a loving mother you gather us into your household. We give you thanks for the child who has come to bless this family and for the parents who have taken this child to be their own. By the power of your Holy Spirit, fill (name(s) of parent or parents) with trust, understanding and affection; and, through this child in our midst, enable us better to know the mystery that we are all your children by adoption; through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The Meaning: This prayer officially recognizes the spiritual accomplishment of adopting a child and can be incorporated into any more detailed adoption ritual, or it can stand on its own.

"Adoption of a Child" prayer is reprinted from "Occasional Services, A Companion to Lutheran Book of Worship," copyright 1982 by AELC, Lutheran Church in America, The American Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, with permission of Augsburg Fortress Publishing. This excerpt may not be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

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