At the beginning of December, Kaya Grace was dedicated at our church here in Luxembourg. It was a special day, to give thanks for her life and promise ourselves to raising her with love and grace, to teach her about the love and grace we have received from our Creator.
I wrote the text for the dedication myself. Our Pastor laughed – because he knew I would ask to – and then graciously let me. I was dedicated as a baby myself, and chose to be baptised as a teenager. Rasmus was baptised as a baby and confirmed as a teenager. So we come from different theological backgrounds, but as adults we’ve come to the conclusion: both options can be right.
What we wanted most of all was for this dedication to be meaningful – not just something we do because it’s what everyone else does, for the cultural aspect, or even for the after party! I wanted our promises and prayers to be authentic to us and our faith, to the woman that we hope, by God’s grace and strength, to raise Kaya to become.
I googled all over for inspiration and couldn’t find many good examples of dedication text that was more than a few dry and archaic questions. In fact, the most inspiring texts I found were from alternative spirituality ceremonies or dedications for children with parents of different faiths. I guess, from people who have had to get creative when they’ve not found what they were looking for.
In the end, the words we used were inspired by traditional liturgies, the Celtic prayers, and those alternative scripts. Friends told me afterwards that they found the short ceremony moving and authentic, which made me so happy because it was what I’d hoped for.
I’m sharing it here in the hope that it might be useful to others hoping to create a meaningful dedication ceremony for a baby or child. I’ve taken out some of the names to make it easier for you to copy if you’d like to. Except for the final prayers which are specific to Kaya, but I leave as an example.
Dedication of Kaya Grace
There is no magic or saving grace conferred in this dedication. Rather it is a time to give thanks to God for the gift of Kaya, and to make solemn commitments to raise her in the way that is pleasing to God.
There are two kinds of commitments being made in this dedication:
1. The commitment of the parents before God to raise their child in the “training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4). There can also be an opportunity for Godparents to pledge their assistance both to the parents and child being dedicated.
2. The commitment of the congregation before God to assist the parents in raising their children, along with the acknowledgement that this child is a part of our church.
*Parents*, do you confess Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord?
Do you promise before God and this congregation that you will demonstrate God’s love and grace to *child* by your words and your actions,
That you will endeavour to always be patient and kind, quick to say sorry when you do wrong, and to offer forgiveness when *child* makes mistakes,
That you will pray constantly for her to grow in faith and love of God?
Do you promise before God and this congregation that you will always accept and love *child*, as God has accepted and loved you?
Do you dedicate *child* here and now to God and to his greater Glory?
If so please signify by saying “we do”
*Parents*, may God make clear to you each step that you take as you raise *child*;
Should you stumble, hold you; If you fall, lift you up.
May you trust in the Holy Spirit to guide you in all wisdom and strength,
And bring you at last to God’s glory.
Present who the Godparents are, and if you like, why you chose them (we expressed these reasons to each of Kaya’s godparents privately but you could do so before the church too).
*Godparents*, before God and this congregation do you pledge your support for *parents* as they seek to raise *child* in the love and knowledge of the Lord?
Will you, as best as you can, help take care of *child*? Will you endeavour to protect her from harm, to encourage, guide and support her as she grows from a girl into a woman, to help her recognise the beauty within herself and all things,
And will you also seek to build up *child* in the Christian faith through the example of your own life, the encouragement of your words, and your continued prayers for her?
If so please signify by saying “we do”
To the Congregation (to stand)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the same way that our Lord Jesus Christ, gladly welcomed children and blessed them, will you also welcome *child* into this congregation? Will you model Christ’s love and grace to her by your words and actions? And will you also promise to assist *parents* as they seek to raise *child* in faith and love?
If so please signify by saying “we will”
Blessing for Kaya
Note: We chose to write our prayers for Kaya based off the meanings of her name. She’s maybe a little unique in having this many meanings, but perhaps you could use the child’s middle names as inspiration too. Another beautiful example that I’ve often been inspired by for friends’ babies, is Rachelle Mee Chapman’s blessing for the different parts of the child’s body.
Kaya, your name in Danish means “pure”.
May you grow to know and believe that all who place their hope in Jesus are made pure, by God’s grace.
May you have an undivided and pure heart, one which loves and seeks only what is good, what is true, noble, authentic, and beautiful – all those things that are pleasing to God.
Kaya, your name in Turkish means “rock”.
May you come to know God as your rock and your refuge, a firm shelter in times of sorrow or hardship;
May your faith be built upon that rock, and may you also be a source of strength and comfort to others, bringing God’s light and justice wherever you go.
Kaya, your name in Zulu means “dwelling”.
May you always seek to dwell in the presence of the God who welcomes you in, and may you always know that God will never leave you or forsake you.
May you yourself become a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and may you shine God’s light through your life, that others will find God through you
Kaya, your name in Japanese means “increasingly excellent and beautiful”.
May you grow each day in love, in courage, in character and in grace. May you daily become brighter and more beautiful as God enters your life and you become like him.
Kaya Grace, you have been loved and wanted since long before you were born. Your parents longed to be blessed with your arrival and we consider your presence in our lives to be a gift of God.
As a little baby your parents cover and clothe you in their love and with their faith. As you grow, may faith grow with you. May you find the presence of Christ your clothing and protection. And year by year may the knowledge of His presence be greater for you, that daily you may put on Christ and walk as His own in the world.
Here and now, we dedicate you to God, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
If you use or are inspired by this liturgy, I would love to know! Do drop me an email or leave a comment to tell me.