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Dedication Service

for Infants and Parents


(written by Peter L Haynes)

Will the parents of _______________ bring their child forward?

"Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother's breast. On
you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God."
(Psalm 22:9-10)

What an awesome thing it is, this process we call birth. Even more amazing is what
then happens as a child grows. In an all-too-brief span of time an infant, so vulnerable
and dependent, becomes a child - rapidly learning how to crawl and then to walk, moving
from cries to words to sentences, growing in body, mind, and spirit toward adulthood.
And parents have the tremendous opportunity to witness it all, and the great responsibility
to guide this process they began.

However, the most marvelous aspect of it all is that the very hand of God is involved.
Scripture tells us that our Creator knows each child long before she enters this world,
before he is even but a dream in his mothers heart. (Psalm 139:13-16) God is present at
birth ("you ... took me from the womb"), and through the nurturing years ("you kept me
safe on my mothers breast").

Our faith informs us that our children belong to God, and are entrusted into our hands
for but a season. Parenting, at its best, is a calling from God through those years to love
and protect, to challenge and to gradually release these precious children. Parenting
requires every resource we have, and then some. From walking the halls at 2:00 a.m. with
a crying infant to waiting up past midnight for a tardy teenager, parenting is not for the
weak-hearted!

The good news is that parents do not fill these shoes alone. Jesus himself spoke Gods
mother-like desire to "gather (her) children together as a hen gathers her brood under
her wings..." (Matthew 23:37). He also told of Gods patience which is like a father waiting
for a prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). The Lord is there all along the way of a childs growth,
and many are the resources our Maker provides, if only we ask, and seek, and find.

This room is full of many hearts and hands whom our God has drawn together into a
family of faith. Within the church of Jesus Christ, no parent stands alone, no child is
without many spiritual aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers. We are here to help bear
this awesome and exciting responsibility of raising children. Will they grow to have faith
in Christ? Will they hear the stories of Jesus? Will his words be lived out before them so
that they will know the truth and the truth will set them free? Will they be encouraged to
walk by faith little by little, be forgiven when they fall, and be challenged to one day
undertake the greatest journey of all - to follow Jesus into the waters of baptism and
beyond? The answer to those questions is our mission, church! Are we ready?

_______ and ________, you have brought your precious (daughter/son) before this
congregation to consecrate her/him (or 'them' if more than 1 couple) to the Lord, and to
dedicate yourselves to the task of parenting. The time has come for some promises on
your part, made before these people.

Promises
Will you pledge to support and love ____________ by providing the opportunity for
(her/him) to grow up in the family of faith, with the hope that she/he will some day
confess Christ as (her/his) own Teacher, Lord, and Savior? 1
If so, say, "We will."

Will you, to the best of your ability and with God's help, provide a loving family
environment in which _________ can grow in love, loyalty, and obedience to God?
If so, say, "We will."

Will you encourage ___________ to grow in faith, so that (she/he) might later be
received into the fellowship of the church by baptism, fully partaking in the work and
worship of the church?
If so, say, "We will."

(optional portion for grandparents)

Blessed is the child who has faithful, loving grandparents. Not only do you, who stand
with this young family today, thoroughly enjoy and help nurture this precious child in
your own unique way, you also support his/her parents through the wonder-filled and
sometimes frustrating process of parenting. Will you, likewise, pledge to support,
encourage, and love ____________ and her/his parents through these awesome years, to
the best of your ability?
If so, say, "We will."

Would you in this congregation please stand and turn to #791 in your hymnal. God did
not intend families to go it alone in this world. It takes a church to help raise a child in the
faith, so I ask you who are gathered here to take seriously your responsibility in Jesus
Christ. If you accept the call to be a community of faith to this child and his parents,
would you read this pledge with me.

You have offered your child


to the strong and tender providence of God.
We rejoice with you and give thanks
for the gift of your child.
We promise, with humility and seriousness,
to share in your childs nurture and well-being.
We will support, by our example and words,
your efforts to provide a loving and caring home,
where trust in God grows and Christs way is chosen.
Our prayers will be with you and for you.
May our shared life and witness
help make your task both joyful and fruitful. 2

Consecration
(The child is held and introduced to the congregation, walking down the aisle.
The following dedication and prayer is then spoken.)

(full name) , you are dedicated to the Lord. May all the resources of home,
family, and church nurture you and encourage toward your own decision for Jesus Christ.
3

Lord, thank you for ________. (She/he) is your child. Bless (her/him) all the days of
(her/his) life. Give to (her/his) parents, (her/his) family, and (her/his) church what we
need to raise (her/him) in the faith. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.