Before our big move, we made the decision to have a Dedication Ceremony at our church for our children. Since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about this decision and what it means. I don’t claim to be an expert in the beliefs of all of the different churches, by any means. I only know the way I was raised but I’d love to shed some light on what the ceremony means to us and the simple yet meaningful way we approached it.
First of all, we are a Christian family. We love God with all of our hearts because, to us, there is no alternative. Even my husband, with his scientific, logical mind cannot deny the presence of our almighty God. We’ve seen too many miracles in our lives to even attempt to believe otherwise. As Christians, however, we try to live our lives following the teachings of Jesus. We strive to be a light in a sometimes dark world and to remain positive when things are looking beyond negative. We try to keep our faith strong and know that God has a plan.
In our church, a Dedication is a simple ceremony in which the family of the children stand in front of the entire congregation and pledge to raise their child as a Christian (sometimes also referred to as a Christening). The congregation is there to say they will support the family in doing so. The Pastor introduces the child to the congregation and tells a little about them. The parents choose a life verse for the child and it is read aloud. The child is anointed with oil and the Pastor then prays over them, along with the parents. In my old church, the Pastor would then lead the entire congregation in singing Jesus Loves Me which I absolutely LOVE!
Our Dedication Day was so special.
Trinity got to wear an outfit that my great Aunt Louise had made for her before she was even born! It was a beautiful hand-crocheted white dress and booties with a pink ribbon. That alone was so special!
I got the kids a little present just from me. Trinity got a little white ribbon bracelet that comes with a poem. The poem explains that she is to wear it on her Dedication Day and then save it for her baptism and then for her wedding, where she will either place it in her hair or on her bouquet. Preston, similarly, got a little white boutonniere with a poem that explains that he should wear it for the Dedication and then save it for his wedding day where he can give to his bride to hold. Both are very special. The kids also got cards from Eric and I. The cards I will keep in a safe place for when they are old enough to read and understand what I wrote.
The ceremony was beautiful and I felt so honored to have both sets of grandparents there with us. My parents flew down from MI to be there and Eric’s parents drove down to attend with us as well. Eric’s father is Catholic so it really meant so much that he was willing to skip his church service and attend a non-denominational church instead for the sake of his grandchildren! The church also gave us a very sweet and unexpected gift to take home which included a Bible for each child and a couple books for us as parents to guide us on our path.
Afterwards, we went out to eat and gave the kids their gifts. Our parents got them sweet gifts such as stuffed animals that sing Jesus Loves Me, a crib cross, and children’s Bibles. I had made the gifts from Eric and I. I found this tutorial on Pinterest and kind of tweaked it to make my own canvas print knock offs with each child’s life verse on it. They can put them up in their bedrooms and be constantly reminded of God’s love.
The Dedication Day was lovely and I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful memory of everything that happened. It is my prayer that my kids will be a beacon of hope for those who are lost or struggling. I pray that they will never judge someone for being different or believing a different way but they will open their hearts to let God’s love shine out and SHOW others how beautiful it is to be a child of God. More than anything, I pray that they will stay strong in their beliefs and never ever let that faith waiver, no matter what they come up against.
I believe most parents choose to have their baby dedicated within the first few months of life. When Preston was born, we attended a church that was in a transition period and wasn’t doing things like dedications. Then when Trinity was born, we had just moved to a new place and didn’t have a church yet. So the kids were considered a bit old to have the ceremony done but it didn’t matter to us. It is the meaning behind it that matters and we had a lovely day.
Did you do anything special spiritually for your child when they were young? I’d love to hear about it! This discussion has made me quite curious as to what other religions do with the babies!