A Dedication Service is a ceremony in which parents thank God for the birth of a child and make promises about how as parents they will look after their new baby.
It’s called a ‘dedication’ because in the Bible a woman called Hannah was unable to have a child for a long time and when she did eventually have a baby boy her response was to dedicate him to God.
In the service we entrust the child to God’s care for the future and pray for the parents, asking for God’s help in the sometimes daunting task of looking after their baby.
Sometimes people nominate a friend or another member of the family as a ‘godparent’ who will support them in bringing up the child and who is invited to promise to be available as a friend to the child as they grow up and to set a good example. Other family members or friends who are present are also invited to express their support.
The church family will also make promises to support the child and their parents as they seek to bring the child up in the knowledge of God.
During the dedication service parents are asked to make the following commitments…
I acknowledge that my child is a gift from God.
I will be a conduit for God’s love to my child.
I will communicate to my child that he/she matters to God.
I will pray for my child.
I will commit to do all I can to raise my child in a home that honours God, and support his/her spiritual growth.
Child Dedication is a commitment service where parents promise to raise their child in a God honouring way.
Examples from Scripture: Luke 2:22-25 where we see that as a baby, Jesus’ parents dedicated Him to God’s work; and Mark 10:16 we see Jesus bestowing blessings on the children.
The Dedication ceremony is a time to publicly make a commitment to pray for the child, love the child and guide the child toward a personal relationship with Christ. as parents are instructed to do in the following verses.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."