1) What is a Baby Dedication?
The roots of this ceremony go back several thousand years to a moment when a Jewish woman named Hannah was unable to conceive. She cried out to the Lord for a child, and when God answered her prayer, she responded by dedicating her child to God’s purpose.
“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 1:27-28)
Even Mary dedicated Jesus when He was just an infant.
Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
When Jesus was presented at the Temple, two older people of faith (Simeon and Anna) both had moments with the baby where they held Him, pronounced God’s blessing over Him, and even prophesied what He would go on to do and become.
This is what happens spiritually during a dedication moment:
The parent or parents present their child to God in an act of thanksgiving in dedication to God’s purposes. Together, as a family, they worship God. Spiritual leaders bless, pray over, and declare God’s best for the child. At times the Holy Spirit may even speak prophetically about the child’s future. Parents and their new child continue their journey together, confident that they are walking under the full blessing of God.
2) What specifically happens during a baby dedication service?
Join the Pastor on the Platform
During the service, we will invite parents and their child onto the platform. Families are also invited to bring other family members or visitors to the platform. The pastor will briefly describe the meaning and purpose of the dedication ceremony and greet the families who are guests for this occasion.
Then he will ask the parents:
- Do you present your child in dedication to God’s purpose?
- Realizing that no one is perfect, will you do your best to model for your child a life of obedience to God’s purpose?
- When they are old enough, will you work to lead them to make their own decision to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior?
Letter to Child
The parent or parents will be invited to share a one-page letter written to their child expressing their love for them and their intentions for this act of dedication. We do not need to receive this letter, but please prepare it beforehand.
Following the commitments made before God and the congregation, the pastor will take the opportunity to pray over the child being dedicated. During this prayer moment, we often show a picture of the child on the screen so that the congregation can get a better view of who they are and what they look like. The entire congregation is invited to agree in prayer for God’s blessing to be poured out upon their life.
Gift & Letter from Pastor
Before leaving the platform, you will be given a gift as a reminder of this day when you dedicated your child to the Lord. The pastor will also hand you a letter for your child to be given to him/her on their 13th birthday.
3) What’s the difference between baby dedication and infant baptism?
In some Christian traditions, it is customary to baptize an infant rather than just dedicating them. Baptism is the public declaration of the private decision a person makes when they choose to follow Jesus Christ. Because of this, we believe the biblical practice of baptism is for those who are old enough to express their faith themselves. Therefore, the Echo dedication service is designed more for the parents than for the child. It is based on the choice that parents make to raise the child according to God's purpose. (Have a question about baptism? Email us here.)
Remember: If you have additional questions, or need clarification of some sort, please feel free to call our administrator, Havilah Mendez, at 410-248-8899 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.