This past Sunday we dedicated our daughter at our local church. My dear friend, mentor, eye witness of Emma’s birth and Pastor, Val, did an amazing job with her first infant dedication. I was also quite thrilled that my friend Kym and I were able to dedicate both of our daughters together.
The only sad part: My Mama and sister couldn’t be with us. Obviously, it would have been a bit of a stretch to ask them to make the journey from Germany to attend Emma’s dedication. Mama, Meike, ihr habt mir so sehr gefehlt!
But let me give you some background on the dedication ceremony and what it actually means. We are Christians. At our church we dedicate our children instead of baptizing or christening them. The main difference between these religious rituals (um, that sounds kinda weird) is probably the idea that with a dedication, you, as a parent, dedicate your baby to God as an act of honor, worship and thanksgiving. We think a baby shouldn’t be christened/baptized until they are old enough to make their own decision about their faith.
The dedication is further a public declaration of the parents’ promise to raise the child in a godly way with the support of the church family. The Pastor anoints the baby, the parents and godparents (if parents chose godparents).
Baptism is a part of many Christian denominations, including Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist. Baptism is a water purification ceremony, so at baptisms you will see a small amount of holy water from the baptismal font, poured by the pastor or minister over the infant’s head. During a baptism the child enters the Christian faith and his or her parents and possible godparents, vow to raise the child in the faith they have chosen. (Source: Articlesbase.com)
Since I am a sucker for traditions, I was over-the-moon excited that Emma was able to wear the same gown that my own mother had crocheted while she was pregnant with me. The gown was stunning and it meant a lot to me that Emma was dedicated in the same gown that me, my sister and my sister’s son had been baptized in. I love that story!
Another tradition we ‘stole’ from the baptism ritual (at least how I knew it in Germany as part of the Lutheran church) was that we chose a scripture to pray over Emma’s life. Despite an abundance of encouraging, empowering, healing, promising or prophetic scriptures, this was an easy task. Without any doubt, Paul and I knew that everything we wanted God to fulfill in Emma’s life was encompassed in 2 Timothy 1:7.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind (or self-control as translated in other bible versions).
Our fearless firecracker certainly has a spirit of power and love already. We just need to keep praying that she’ll have some self-control as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Come back soon for Part Two of Emma’s Dedication – The ‘after party’ at our house. I’ll be sharing lots of pictures of lots of pretty party decor.