The Baby Dedication is a practice or ceremony which involves the entire family and the parents of the baby, who commit in front of the Lord that they will raise their child according to God’s ways and God’s words.
Christian churches all around the world practice the baby dedication instead of the ceremony of infant baptism. The practice of this particular ceremony varies widely from one denomination to the other.
What is the Significance of Baby Dedication?
The practice of baby dedication is universally famous, but most of the Roman Catholic churches present all around the world believe in the practice of infant baptism instead of the child’s dedication.
The protestant denominations of the world are known to perform the practice of baby dedication.
Various churches which believe in the ceremony of child dedication believes that the baptism comes in the later stage of life as a result of the own decision of the individual to be baptized in front of the god.
Talking about the Baptist Church, the believers of the ceremony are usually teenagers or even adults before getting baptized in front of the god.
The practice of baby dedication is being done from many centuries & the evidence of the same can be found in the Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (ESV)
Origin of Baby Dedication
The practice and ceremony of baby dedication have been used all around the world for many centuries. It is mentioned in the book of exodus the event of concentrating to me every firstborn male.
This is mentioned in chapter 13 of the book in the second verse.
The meaning of this particular sentence that the very first offspring of everyone from the Israeli people belongs to me whether it be the child of any animal or human being.
Even the book Bible has related some of the presentations of the children. It says that in the Old Testament which was written by Hannah the story of Samuel where child dedication was performed.
Also it is mentioned in the Bible that the presentation of Jesus Christ in the temple which is also written in the new testament by Mary and Joseph was related to the child’s dedication process.
Then further when Jesus Christ got the enlightenment he used to bless the children.
History of Baby Dedication
The history of the practice and ceremony of child dedication has been very diverse and used in various cultures and traditions.
The history has seen the use of this particular practice in the year 1609 when the Baptist movement took place and all the adults, who were believers of baptism took it into their regular practice according to the teachings in the Bible.
Thus, from that particular moment, the presentation of the child in front of the god in the form of dedication developed among the people and spread all around the world with the help of Baptist movement.
It was immediately taken over by the Baptist churches and also by the Evangelical movements in the 20th century.
Responsibilities in Baby Dedication
The responsibilities which are involved in the ceremony of baby dedication are very important and should be taken care of with utmost priority.
The Christian people who become parents are supposed to make a promise to God before the congregation present in the church that they will do everything which is in their power for raising the child in a perfect and good way.
They offer their prayers to the Lord until he or she can decide on their own to follow God.
In the case of infant baptism, sometimes it becomes customary at this particular time for the godparents to name the child so that they can also help in raising the child according to the principles of the god.
The parents, who are making the promises in front of the god & committing certain things are also instructed by the priest & the God himself to raise the child in such a way that he or she becomes a good human being further in their lives and should not raise them according to their ways.
Responsibilities of the parents include the training and teaching of the child with the help of the words of God and also demonstrating him or her the practical examples of godliness and making the child disciplined according to how God would have done himself.
It is also an important duty of the parents that they pray honestly and earnestly in the lotus feet of the god.
Talking about today’s scenario, the meaning of raising a child in a godly way can vary from one tradition to another.
It depends on the type of the Christian denomination and also on the type of the congregation which is present in that particular denomination.
Some people give more emphasis on obedience and the discipline factor while some people may give importance to acceptance and charity as the main values.
It is written in the Bible that the supply of guidance, wisdom, and the instructions for the Christian parents should always be given to their child.
It is also said that the importance of the ceremony of dedication lies completely in the hands of the family of the child and the promise which they make in front of the lord for raising their child in the best possible manner.
And also involving themselves in spiritual community practices so that they remain down to earth and would not change their ways, whatever be the situation.
The ceremony of Baby Dedication
The ceremonies, which are involved in the process of baby dedication are not very complex and can be easily remembered.
The formal ceremony of baby dedication can be done in many forms and depends on the preferences and types of practices which denomination or a congregation accepts.
It can be held in the form of a short private ceremony or can even be celebrated on a very large scale, where worship services can be arranged involving the entire congregation population.
The typical ceremonies of baby dedication involve the narration of the key Bible passages and also making exchange between the parents and the Godparents, which is administered by the Minister if they agree to raise the child according to the several criteria and the godly words.
Sometimes, the ceremony also happens where the entire congregation is given the chance to respond to a particular question, which indicates their responsibility and their collective yes for the well-being of the child.
Rituals can also be conducted where infant is given to the pastor or the minister, which symbolizes that the child is being offered to the community of the church for his or her well-being.
This particular ceremony is then followed by a final prayer and a gift which can be in the form of a certificate, which is offered by the church to the child and parents.
The final closing hymn can also be sung by the congregation.
Bible Verses of Baby Dedication
The holy book Bible, which is religiously followed by the Christian people all around the world contains many verses related to the ceremony of baby dedication.
Given below are some of the famous verses for this particular ceremony mentioned in the Bible:
- This is what the lord says – you Redeemer, who formed you in the womb, I am the Lord, the Maker of all things who stretches out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.
- Before I found you in the womb, I knew you before you were born, I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
- When the time came for the purification rites required by the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
- See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that there are angels in heaven always see the face of my father in heaven.
- Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.
- Through the praise of children and infants, you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
- I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
- For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
- I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
- Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring, a reward from him.
Baby Dedication Example
Baby dedication examples are present in many scriptures and various religious textbooks and other pictures of historical pieces of evidence.
A barren woman, Hannah prayed to the lord for the child. The exact lines of her prayer are given below:
And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11, NIV)
After listening to the prayer offered by the barren woman, the God answered to her prayer by blessing her with a baby boy and she remembered her promise which she made to the Lord.
Then presented Samuel to the lord and said the following lines which are given below:
“As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life, he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. (1 Samuel 1:26-28, NIV)
The ceremony of baby dedication is practiced in Christian churches all around the world. This particular ceremony is the practice by those people who do not believe in infant baptism.
In this particular ceremony, the entire family & parents of the baby make promises and commitment in front of the lord that they will properly raise the child & as per the words of wisdom, which are offered by the God himself.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Are infant baptism and child dedication to different ceremonies?
Yes, infant baptism and child dedication are two completely different ceremonies. The child’s dedication is a ceremony that does not involve the dipping of the new-born baby in the holy water.
What are the promises which are made by the parents to God in child dedication?
The promises which the parents make in the child dedication ceremony include the vow of raising the child according to the words of God and also to support him and praise him for doing positive activities towards the society.
Who administers the process of baby dedication?
The ceremony of baby dedication is administered by the Minister of the church or the pastor of the church. He directs the ceremony and makes the congregation gathered in the church repeat certain prayers and vows in front of God for the better future of the new born child.