Liturgical Naming Rite for a Transgender Church Member

Liturgical Naming Rite for a Transgender Church Member January 21, 2012

This week one of my parishioners, Asher O’Callaghan wrote a post for the Fund for Theological Education about his experience as a transgender man at House for All Sinners and Saints.  You can read his lovely reflection here.

After posting this link on Facebook and Twitter this morning  several people have asked to see what rite we used.  I had posted this on my previous blog last September, but here it is now on this new site:


Here is the rite we used at Baptism of our Lord Sunday when a transgender member of House for All Sinners and Saints was undergoing a name change.  This is largely taken from a rite shared with me by Episcopal priest, Michele Morgan

One really lovely thing about this day was that Asher made a little shrine to his previously female self, Mary.  It included the whole name lovingly written out, several photos and a candle.

(Prayers of the People)


Holy One of Blessing, in baptism you bring us to new life in

Jesus Christ and you name us Beloved. We give you thanks for the renewal

of that life and love in Mary Christine Callahan, who now takes on a new name.

Strengthen and uphold him as he grows in power, and authority, and

meaning of this name: we pray in the Name above names, Jesus, your Son,

whom with you and the Holy Spirit, the Triune God, we adore. Amen

(Lindsey) A reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians.

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no

longer male and female; for all are one in Christ Jesus

The word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

(Laying on of hands)

Let us pray:

We pray for your servant Asher, with thanks for the journey and awakening that

have brought him to this moment, for his place amongst your

people, and for his gifts and calling to serve you.

O God, in renaming your servants Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Peter,

and Paul, you gave them new lives and new tasks, new love and new hope.

We now hold before you our companion. Bless him with a new measure

of grace as he takes this new name. Write him again in your

heart and on your palm. And grant that we all be worthy to call ourselves

Christians, for the sake of your Christ whose name is Love, and in whom,

with you and the Spirit, we pray. Amen

The Giving of the name

Pr. Nadia: By what name shall you be known?

Kate: The name shall be Asher 

Asher: My name is Asher


The community may respond by repeating

Your name shall be Asher

Pr. Nadia: Bear this name in the Name of Christ. Share it in the name of Mercy. Offer it

in the name of Justice.


Christ is among us making peace right here right now.  The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.



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