The concept of baby dedication is defined by a family’s choice to commit a child to God. That pledge, to raise a baby righteously, extends to the parents, siblings, other family members and the child being dedicated. Christian parents who dedicate a child are making a promise to the Lord to raise the child in a godly way. That starts with prayers and eventually evolves until the child is old enough to decide on his or her own to follow God. It is initially the parent’s responsibility to demonstrate an example of godliness. Dedication also means that parents pledge before God to be a source of spiritual guidance.
The Dedication Ceremony
The Dedication Ceremony is the formal event, usually held during a traditional church service, which solidifies the commitment behind dedication. It is important that the family of the dedicated child and the church or parish discuss details of the ceremony, including scriptures and readings beforehand. Here are some tips from buzzle.com about organizing and preparing for the ceremony as well as particulars of the big day:
- It is important that before the ceremony the pastor counsels the parents about the meaning of child dedication.
- The pastor explains to the parents their duties in bringing up the baby in the fear of the Lord and the importance of family prayer.
- The service begins with the pastor introducing the family to the congregation. The pastor then speaks about the importance of dedication. The pastor may ask the family to reason out the need for dedication.
- Initially it is the mother who holds the baby but as the service proceeds the baby is handed over to the father who is considered the head of the family. However, for the prayer of dedication the pastor holds the baby.
- Scripture is read during the ceremony to emphasize the commitment.
- The pastor asks the parents to pledge before the Lord to bring up their child according to His Word.
- The pastor then prays to the Church to make a vow. The church pledges to support and help the child through their prayers.
Who is involved in the dedication ceremony?
Each church conducts baby dedication ceremonies on a slightly different scale, so it is important to check with your pastor before the big day arrives. The parents are integral to the ceremony as is the pastor and congregation. Often, Godparents and siblings are included as well. Below is a video of a baby dedication ceremony that included grand-parents and great grand-parents as well. This ceremony included the symbolic exchanging of roses to symbolize love, purity and joy.