Prepare for Baby Dedication. View our suggested ceremony. Download child dedication certificates and see example messages with prayers of blessing.
Printable Baby Dedication Certificate
Here is what you need to know when planning a baby dedication service for your church. The printable file below includes this full how-to article, a template baby dedication certificate, and tips for making this a meaningful celebration for parents, child, and congregation.
On mother’s day, our church had a Baby Dedication Service. Many churches dedicate infants and babies because of tradition rather than theology. We want our families to have a Christian vision for their children. We want them to see parenting as a divine responsibility. We believe every child is a gift from God.
Baby Dedication order of service for church
In most churches, the child dedication ceremony is a smaller event within the morning worship service lasting 10 minutes or less. In our church we often replaced the children’s sermon / ministry moment spot with the baby dedication. Here is our simple order of service:
Presentation of the Child & Parents
The pastor (or clergy officiating the ceremony) invites the families forward to the front of the church meeting. He then readers the parent and child’s name saying:
“It is my great joy to introduce you to these newest members of our church family. (CHILD NAME) is the son of (PARENTS NAMES) and was born (WHEN AND WHERE). These parents have come today to pledge themselves before God and this congregation to raise this child in a way the honors the LORD.”
Parental Affirmations to God
The pastor then reads the following affirmations (printed in the bulletin for the congregation to read along). After each statement the parents will respond “WE DO.”
- Do you today recognize these children as the gifts of God and give heartfelt thanks for God’s blessing?
- Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you all, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God?
- Do you pledge as parents that, with God’s fatherly help, you will bring up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into their lives?
- Do you promise to provide, through God’s blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve them and not use them?
- Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that, by God’s grace, your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
Pastor’s Message or Charge to the PARENTS
In a shorter ceremony, the pastor will simply read a biblical admonition about parenting. In a longer service the preacher may ask the parents to sit down while he gives a short baby dedication sermon or message. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 78:1-8 are popular verses for this sermon.
Prayer of Blessing
The pastor lays hands on the child and offers this baby dedication prayer:
(child’s name), together with your parents, who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claims upon your life, in the hope that you will belong wholly to God for ever.
When the service is finished, the parents and child are ask to stand while church members come to offer their congratulations or personal blessings. If a reception is planned, the family can proceed to the fellowship area and await their guests.
How We Plan our Baby Dedication Ceremony
Pastor David Michael at Bethlehem Baptist Church has given us some great ideas for baby dedication. David and his wife Sally are behind the Children’s Desiring God curriculum. Their approach to baby dedication emphasizes parental promises and includes a mandatory parenting class. So before the ceremony, parents are challenged to have a God-centered vision for their children.
Time needed: 30 days.
How to plan our Baby Dedication Ceremony
- Plan a Parent’s Meeting
I invited parents to meet with me about baby dedication. These are families from our church that have added new children since last year. I take the initiative to contact them.
- Provide Parent Training
We have arranged a training meeting several weeks before the dedication. We will use this as a teaching time to explain the dedication service and reinforce a biblical vision for Christian parenting. We discuss specific scriptures about parenting. We invite them to define their vision for their children. We challenge them to dedicate themselves as parents to raising God-centered children.
- Rehearse the Dedication Service Questions
Do you today recognize these children as the gifts of God and give heartfelt thanks for God’s blessing? Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you all, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God? Do you pledge as parents that, with God’s fatherly help, you will bring up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into their lives? Do you promise to provide, through God’s blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve them and not use them? Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that, by God’s grace, your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
- Day of the Service – Affirmations
Invite the family to the front of the church along with their child. The pastor reads the above questions and the parents affirm “WE DO.” The congregation will have these same promises as a bulletin insert. We want this time to reinforce a biblical vision of parenting for the whole congregation. We invite all parents in the congregation to silently re-commit to being intentionally Christian in their parenting with each affirmation.
- Day of Service – Blessing Prayer
fter the parents have affirmed the promises the senior pastor will pray this prayer of dedication: (child’s name), together with your parents, who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claims upon your life, in the hope that you will belong wholly to God for ever.
- After the Ceremony
After the ceremony, each child will receive a gift. We usually give them a Children’s Bible. They also receive a baby dedication certificate. We have discussed writing a pastoral letter to the child.
- Provide Annual Updates
The ideal situation would be to visit this family at 6 months or a year out from the service to remind them of the commitments and discuss how the church can further empower them in their calling as parents. In this case, the baby dedication service is only the first step in a program of equipping parents.
We are careful to make this a time of commitment and prayer. I think the approach I’ve described removes the “sacramental” feel that accompanies infant baptism. What are your thoughts? Does your church have a similar process? Leave a comment and let me know. We are always eager to learn.
Common questions about Baby Dedication at Church
Catholic and some protestant churches offer infant baptism, which is a sacrament that infers grace upon the child. Godparents are often named and presnet when the baby is baptized. The baby dedication ceremony in an alternate tradition in many protestant churches, in which the parents pledge to raise the child in a godly manner and the congregation offers a prayer of blessing upon the child and parents. Godparents are not typically part of this tradition, but some churches encourage older Christians to sponsor the young parents.
Most churches offer a dedication ceremony while a child is under the age of two, many plan it for the first Sunday the parents bring the infant to church after it is born. For older children (as in the case of adoption), churches can offer a child dedication service. This is essential the same format, but for an older child.
The ceremony is usually performed before or after the Worship service of Sunday. When the parents have come forward with the child, the pastor presents it to the congregation, or asks the parents to do so.Most often, the pastor asks parents to say orally their commitment to raising the child in the Christian faith. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_dedication
More Baby Dedication Celebration Ideas
Printable Child / Baby Dedication Certificate (Free Template Download)
Download this printable baby dedication certificate to use in your church to commemorate your next parent-child dedication service. It’s ready to go directly from the PDF printable, but you can download the WORD doc version if you need to customize it for your church. Just use the links below and print on a heavy card-stock […]
Baby Dedication: What Does Your Church Do?
Welcome to the latest session of the Children’s Ministry Think Tank. Grab some coffee, print off this post and put your thinking cap on. The aim is to get different perspectives and help everyone to learn (including me). Please read through the responses and share your own ideas in the comments. Think Tank #3 Questions […]
Baby Dedication Ideas
When I first wrote about Baby Dedication, I didn’t anticipate the interest it would generate. It seems like many parents and pastors are looking for solid information about conduction a baby dedication service. This post brings together all the information I have found helpful concerning dedicating children to the Lord. I have linked sources where […]
2 thoughts on “Baby Dedication Ceremony: What You Need to Know”
I am the widower of a Minister, who agrees with your approach to this order of service for a baby blessing service. I have moved back home to my family church origins. The leadership has become very different that I am not comfortable continuing to worship there. This Leader did a baby blessing service using water as a part of the service. I had the nerve to approach him about the use of water, and he seemed to agree with me. This Sunday pass, he presented another baby blessing service along the same line of before. Now of course, the baby was his own. It did not matter to him, whether my insistence the use of water in the service was a form of Baptism.
So what’s the big deal about using water! Whether he used the water or not, when the child becomes of age he or she will have to make their own mind up to follow Christ. As parents we are supposed to pray blessings over our children and dedicate them back to God who gave them to us. Having hope that they will grow up and choose to follow the Father who gave them to us. Our role is to teach them what’s right morally and biblically. After they choose to follow after Christ, via the conviction of the Holy Spirit, they should be “Baptized “ which is totally emerging in water! So regardless of the methodology of dedication in the end it’s left up to the child!