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.