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Home >> Liturgy >> Jatakarma
Jatakarma or Naming Ceremony
The following liturgy for the Jatakarma or Naming Ceremony has been taken from the Manual of Brahmo Rituals and Devotions by Sitanath Tattwabhushan. The book was first published in 1924 with its second edition in 1971 by the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. The language is archaeic and can be suitably modified keeping in mind with the occassion and times.

The birth ceremony of a new born child is as a rule celebrated within a month of its birth. At the hour fixed for the ceremony, when the guests have assembled in the place of worship, the mother or the father of the child brings the child there, neatly dressed, and addressess the guests thus:

"Dear sisters and brethren, I beg to present to you this child whom our Divine Father has sent to be nursed and educated as a member of your community. I humbly invite you to bless him (or her) and to join me in thanking God for this gift of his and praying for his (or her) welfare."

After a hymn, the minister conducts tlae usual Invocation and Adoration, making special reference to the child. Then, after the general prayer (Asato ma sat gamaya etc,) and a hymn, the father or the mother offers the following prayer (taken from the Nava Samhita or One in its spirit:

Merciful God, I thank thee for having with tender care protected this child in the mother's womb, and preserved it, in its. helpless and defenceless condition, from all manner of danger and disease. I thank thee that, in darkness and in solitude, thou, didst shape its limbs with. artistic symmetry and beauty, and having furnished it with all necessary appliances, thou hast in the fullness of time, brought it into the world, to do thy work and serve thy people. And as I thankfully bow before thee for this thy gift, which is unto me a fresh token of thy love, a treasure and a joy, grant that I may fully realise my responsibility and discharge my stewardsh1ip with fidelity. Conscious of my weakness and imperfections, I cast myself under thy guidance and most humbly do I beseech thee to give me faith, strength, and true paternal love, that I may, as thy devoted servant, keep this infant under thy guardianship and care, and rear it for thy service. Bless this child and be unto it Father, Mother and Friend, that it may ever repose on thy tender lap far from all evil. God of this house, make the newborn child a real joy in all things unto its parents and a blessing to the whole family. For all thy mercies, good God, we ascribe unto the glory everlasting.

The minister adds his benediction in words like the following :

Help us all, O Lord, to feel our responsibility for this newcomer in our community. May the atmosphere around this child be holy! Make our thoughts, words and deeds favourable to its healthy growth!

The ceremony closes with the utterance of the usual texts (Om Ekamevadvitiyam etc.) and a hymn.

A Janma Patrika (birth-record) is then written or a printed form filled in, in the presence of the guests, some of them signing it as witness. The space for the name of the chiJd is left unfilled till the Namakaran or naming ceremony. The suggested name may be put down in the Jatapatra - even before the name-giving ceremony.