Baby Dedications

We encourage you to read this comparison. This may help you understand this biblical practice and explain it to your friends and family who may be unfamiliar with this practice.

1 Samuel 1:24-28 “Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought them to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.”

Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw [it], he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Luke 2:21-40 “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord:) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name [was] Simeon; and the same man [was] just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served {God] with fasting and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

In the story of Hannah and Samuel above, we see the practice of dedicating the lives of children to serve the Lord. Further, as we see in the other Scriptures above, Jewish custom required the presentation of a male infant at the age of eight days before the priest, if possible in the temple in Jerusalem, for the purpose of circumcision and dedication to the Lord. Christians have adopted the dedication part of that custom, and often like to have their children dedicated publicly to the Lord before the congregation. That is what we do at Calvary Chapel of Kearny.

Baby dedication services should not be confused with infant baptism, which a number of churches practice infant baptism feeling it is comparable to the Old Testament covenant of circumcision, and some churches treat as necessary for salvation. Dedication, however, is a blessing for parents to publicly bring their child before the congregation of God’s people to commit themselves to raising their child in accordance with God’s will. At the same time, it affords the congregation the opportunity to under-gird the new parents with prayer and Biblical support in the ensuing years.

At Calvary Chapel, a baby dedication is usually done in a simple way during one of the  Sunday morning services. We simply have the parents bring the baby up onto the platform, then we go before God in prayer, asking His blessings on the child and the parents.

We believe that it is a great honor to present God’s precious little ones to Him in prayer.