Home Baby Dedication

I. Introduction

Good afternoon and welcome to this very special gathering. The ceremony we are about to share in is both ancient and timeless. In all parts of the earth, and from the earliest days of recorded history, parents have brought their newborn children to a place of worship, sharing their joy and dedication with their community.

Traditionally this is a time to recognize our children by name, for it is by name that each of us is acknowledged as a unique and separate person. The flower we will present to this child is also symbolic of the individuality we wish to affirm.

This is a community celebration, shared by parents, family, and friends, to mark the fact that we all have a responsibility for the care and nurturing of every child. It is our task to give them a world of peace and justice in which to grow. It is our task to share with them our ideals and hopes. It is our task to learn from them the wonder of life, with which all children come into the world, and which we too often lose track of as we grow up.

[Reading by family member]

II. Ceremony

(To parents)

A and T, in presenting your daughter at this service, you invite all of us to share some of the joy and responsibility that is yours as parents. You seek our support in your dedication to raising, nurturing and loving your daughter, and to the sacred task of helping her to grow into her own unique person.

Your task may not always be an easy one. But you accept this service to another life, knowing that your own lives will be fuller and richer because of her presence.

I know that you and H have already had some time to get to know one another and fall in love with each other. Probably you have already had your first disagreements and battle of wills too. But now is the time when you can put into words your promises to and blessings on your daughter.

A and T, in addition to your commitment to keeping her safe and attending to her physical needs, do you promise that, to the best of your abilities, you will help this child to appreciate truth and beauty, to have strength of character, and to know love? If so, say, "We do."

And what wishes do you have for H's life?

(parents state a few simple wishes)

H, these are our wishes for you also.

A and T have chosen C and C to be H's Godparents.

(To God parents)

C and C, an old Jewish proverb says, "In time of travail, go to the friend of your parents." From this ancient wisdom comes the idea of godparents, or special people who dedicate themselves to watching out for the welfare of others' children. It is a noble and loving tradition that you participate in today.

In our complex world, it is not possible for even the most loving and capable parents to raise a child alone. If our children are to become loving and independent adults, they need the wisdom, counsel, love, and support of many adult friends. You have been asked by A and T to accept a special honor and responsibility.

Do you then, to the best of your abilities, promise to add to the care and love of these parents, both in the day-to-day development of this child, and especially in the event of any extraordinary need? If so, say, "We do."

H is also blessed with many grandparents.

Grandparents, you have perhaps the most special job here. You are charged with loving H unconditionally and with spoiling her joyfully. Do you now promise to take up these tasks? If so, say "we do."

And what wishes do you have for your granddaughter's life?

S and S
S and E
(grandparents state a few simple wishes)

We also have a wish for H from R and B, who couldn't be here today. C will read their message.

H, these are our wishes for you also.

And now if all gathered here could repeat a few lines after me for a community blessing.

We give thanks for the gift and promise of life.
We give thanks for this child and for the adults who love her and promise to guide and protect her.
We pray that she may receive abundantly the blessings of health, love, and wisdom,
and that she may give back to the world these same blessings.

III. Naming and Dedication

And now to the many blessings that H has already received, I add just a few more.

A and T, by what name is this child known? (parents give complete name of child)

(leader dips flower in water and touches child's forehead)


with this flower, I touch you on your brow, that you may know wisdom and understanding, on your hands, that you may embrace the world and work to make it a better place, on your heart, that you may know love and give it freely in return, and over your whole body, that you may go through life surrounded by all the blessings you have received today.

When H has come of age, tell her of this day, and the love of your family, and this community and how happy we were to welcome her into the world.

Amen. Blessed Be.