My church is a fairly large, non-denominational Christian church in the Midwest. Every year around Mother’s Day, we have a dedication service for parents with new children to dedicate them to the Lord. Baby dedication services are typically a ceremony that affirms a commitment by the parents to raise their children according to God’s will. In my church, the ceremony is held after the regular, although shortened, sermon. They play a slideshow of pictures set to music of all the children and families participating. The pictures are invariably adorable. Some are a series of pictures that show how much the child has already grown or just a collection sweet and silly snapshots. Then all the parents gather on stage with the child being dedicated, other children, and sometimes other family members that have an important role in the child’s life (like a grandparent.) They are introduced to the congregation and repeat an oath of commitment. The congregation is asked if they will help support the family in raising their children in a Godly manner and the congregation agrees that they will. Last year, all the parents were given a rose as well.
While I watched all the pictures of the babies on screen, I almost wished I had submitted the baby dedication form myself. My daughter was just over a year old and would have been a sweet addition to the rest of the children. In fact, after the service, my minister’s wife asked me why my daughter’s pictures weren’t up there. I excused myself by claiming to have lost the form and missed the deadline (all true) but there was more to it than just that.