Differences in a Baby Dedication & a Christening
Our religions provide us with many rich traditions that are important landmarks in our lives. The earliest of these landmarks is typically the christening or baby dedication. Both of these rituals celebrate the beginning of a new life. Though they share similar meanings and purposes, they are different events.
The Meaning of Christening
1. The christening is a ceremony that baptizes an infant and celebrates his entrance into a Christian community. The idea of christening a child is to give him a strong Christian foundation on which to build his life. It also introduces the child to his new church family.
The Meaning of Dedication
2. In a baby dedication, a mother and father dedicate their lives to making sure their newborn child is raised with a strong Christian influence. It's about showing appreciation to God for blessing them with this new human life and asking for God's guidance in raising their child. Where a christening is more focused on the child, a dedication is a more family-oriented affair.
3. Three kinds of christening services exist. All require the involvement of not just the child's parents but also the godparents. In a blessing, the child is brought before God and her church family with thanksgiving. The officiant then says a prayer asking God to bless the child and watch over her. Baptism is the act of washing away the baby's sins and welcoming her into her Christian life. Another service involves not only baptizing the child but also giving her a name, often a biblical name.
Baby Dedication Ceremonies
4. In the dedication ceremony the parents and any other children stand to the right of the pastor. Grandparents or godparents stand to the left. The pastor holds the baby during dedication prayers. The ceremony includes the reading of scriptures and ask the parents to pledge their energy to setting the best Christian example for their child. The service, of course, will vary depending on your faith. Baby dedications are common practice for those who pledge a wide variety of faiths, including Buddhists, Mormons and Baptists.
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