A simple rite of infant dedication

A simple infant dedication for a mixed crowd. Suitable for use in a service, or at a gathering of family, friends and faith community in the home – such as we did here at Sanctuary on Saturday.

Some of us here believe that each new child
is a glimpse of the face of God,
and a call to live in peace
and to celebrate living together.

In this spirit, and because all life is a gift,
we will take a moment to bless [NAME],
and to set some intentions.

As we do this,
I acknowledge we are gathered here as people of faith,
and people of no faith,
and people for whom faith is a question.
All of us are welcome here:
because all of us are asked to love.

Jesus says:
“Let the children come to me, do not try to stop them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Therefore, [PARENTS],
would you present your child to us.
What did you name her?
Parents: [NAME].

Why did you give her that name?
Parents: [RESPONSE].

What do you hope for her?

As you raise her,
will you share your love, hope, and wisdom with her,
and make a grace-filled home for her,
where she can grow to wholeness
and learn to live with love, honesty, and compassion?
Parents: WE WILL TRY.

Will you seek to live with justice and kindness,
and help her participate in communal life,
where she can learn from
and be loved by many different people?
Parents: WE WILL TRY.

We have family and friends here.
Family and friends,
will you who form the community in which [NAME] is growing up
keep this family in your hearts,
offer them your support
and share with them your hope and love?
Everyone: WE WILL TRY.

We also have members of the congregation here.
Sanctuary people, I ask all of you now,
will you welcome [NAME]
into our shared life of stories and singing,
prayer and discipleship, meals, gardens and blessings?
Will you teach her how to wrestle with God,
and how to live truthfully, boldly, tenderly?
Will you show her how to seek justice,
love kindness, and walk humbly with our God?
Will you share your wisdom,
speak your faith, and show her your love?

these people are your friends and family and church.
You are a gift and a sign to them of the spirit of life,
whose presence is as vulnerable
and as easily disregarded as a little child.

May you know this presence of life and love,
and may it flow through you into others.
May you experience the simple pleasures
of friendly dogs and apple trees,
wide open spaces and warm loving arms.
May you welcome life’s beauty,
learn from its pain, and share in its joys,
and be brought in time to the waters of baptism.

And in all things, may God protect you,
guide you, and give you wisdom and courage,
that you may go beyond the easy options
into deeper mysteries and the wildness of love.

[NAME], on behalf of all these people,
I bless you, and honour you,
and formally welcome you
into the community of love.
In the name of God, the giver of life,
and Jesus, the Word of life,
and the Spirit, which sustains all life. Amen. Ω

For more on infant dedication, Baptist style, read this. This rite was prepared by Alison Sampson for Sanctuary on 15 April 2023 © Sanctuary 2023, no doubt including snippets written by others which were rattling round the back of my head. Appropriate for a mixed crowd (people of faith and people of no faith), for use in a service or at home with a gathering of family, friends and faith community. Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash.

Sanctuary is based on Peek Whurrong country; full acknowledgement here.


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