Baby Dedication vs Baptism: Key Points Explained

Many Christian parents ask questions about baby dedication vs baptism even before the little angel is born! I am here to set things straight so you can fully understand these wonderful Christian ceremonies.

Dedicating babies is a relatively new tradition, and no wonder you can get confused. In some Catholic and Protestant churches, baby dedication is occasionally referred to as parents’ dedication. Are you getting a clue about dedication vs christening differences yet? Don’t worry! The following article will light things up!

What is a Baby Dedication?

Child dedication is a wonderful Christian tradition performed in many evangelistic churches, for example, Baptist and Methodist churches. The sole purpose of infant dedication is to confirm that parents will raise their children in God’s word and will. Therefore, the child’s dedication is focused on baby guardians and their commitment.

The belief behind Christian dedication is that infants are too young to decide for themselves which religion they will choose. But, the guardians play a vital role in shaping their Christian faith. Dedication to church is therefore focused on caretakers and their religious action, unlike baptism sacrament, which symbolizes the baby’s admission to the church.

There is a rule about dedication for baby age limit or preference. However, most caretakers decide to have a baby dedication day during the first two years after the baby is born.

A baby being dedicated at church - Baby dedication vs baptism - Baby Journey
Both baby dedication and christening are special days, so don’t forget to take a lot of photos! Source:

How Is A Dedication Carried Out?

Now that you know what is a dedication, let’s talk about the ceremony itself. It is a simple procedure in which the mother and father are asked to verbalize their religious commitment.

After their words of faith, they participate in prayers and take blessing from pastor. It can be a simple, intimate Christian ceremony, or you can ask your friends and family to join.

Also read: Inspiring Tips and Ideas for A Lovely Baby Baptism Photoshoot

What’s the Purpose of Dedication in Church?

During the dedication at church, the Christian community welcomes a new child to the church.

What is Infant Baptism?

I will now sort things out about similar religious practices to help you fully understand the difference between baptism and dedication.

People often use the word baptism as a synonym with the word christening. However, there is a slight difference between the two terms. Christening means giving a name, while baptism is a Christian sacrament.

At its core, baptism ceremony symbolizes identification with Jesus Christ and new life in the Holy Spirit. During the ceremony, the person identifies with Jesus in death and is reborn in new life with Christ. Therefore, baptism also means that a person joins the ones who believe in Isus Christ.

Also read: How Much Does A Baptism Cost?

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:21)

You can baptize babies when they are eight days old. However, the most common age for infant baptism is between three and six months. Further, there is no upper age limit for baptism. Caretakers can have their children baptized at any age, and adults can join Christ in baptism.

Baptism is one of the most recognizable Christian practices and a significant ceremony in many churches. Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and most of the Protestants churches perform baptism on infants.

Other denominations, such as Pentecostals and Baptists, allow adults and older children to get baptized. They believe a person should be old enough to choose their faith before baptism.

Also read: Baby Baptism Gifts For Every Guest and Budget

How Is Baptism Carried Out?

During baptism, a person is fully submerged in water, or the water is sprinkled on the individual’s head. In both cases, the procedure is done three times to symbolize the Trinity – father, son and holy spirit.

You can have a large party with a baptism cake and everything or a humble celebration.

What’s the Purpose of Baptism in Church?

Another perspective on baptism suggests that is an act of the public professing the believer’s faith. In front of the witnesses, a person commits to their identification with Jesus Christ.

Infant Baptism VS Baby Dedication

A baby being baptized by the priest - Baby dedication vs baptism - Baby Journey
Baptizing is carried out with water, it symbolizes holy purification. Source:

Here you can find in one place the list of key points on baptism vs dedication. If the terms are still confusing to you, don’t hesitate to pop a question in the comment section!

  • Meaning: Baptism means identification with Jesus Christ. Christian dedication means parents’ commitment to raising the child in the faith. It can also be understood as a baby presentation to god.
  • Origin: Bible contains information about the origin of both baptism and dedication. Jesus Christ was the first person ever to get baptism. The act was performed by St. John the Baptism, who continued the practice with other Apostles.

    Dedication roots in the Bible speak about the woman Hannah who prayed to Lord to give her a child. Once she gave birth, Hannah dedicated the baby to god and committed to raising the baby in the faith of god.
  • Method/Form: The obvious difference between christening and dedication is the ritual use of water. Baptism is performed with holy water, and the catholic dedication ceremony focuses on mother and father expressing their commitment out loud in front of witnesses.
  • Performed on: An essential dedication vs baptism difference is the object of the ceremony. Baptism is performed on a child or adult, a subject of the ceremony. During the dedication, the mother and father pledge their commitment and not the baby.
  • Practiced by: Most denominations perform the baptism. Some may allow infant baptisms, and others require a person to be old enough to profess his faith. Evangelical churches, which don’t allow infant baptism, practice baby dedications.

Dedication VS Baptism in a Nutshell

Still unsure what does it mean to dedicate a baby and baptism? Here is something to know. Your baby gets baptized and identifies with Jesus Christ in the faith.

If you want to wait for the baby to grow up and decide for himself about religious beliefs, you can sign up for child dedication. During the ceremony, you will pledge your will to raise your baby according to Christian principles.

In essence, it all comes down to your personal choice, beliefs, and the church you follow. If baptism is a tradition in your church and family, and you feel it is the right option, go for it. If not, luckily, you have an alternative. You can discuss your dilemma with your local priest before decision! Whatever you choose, congrats!

Small child’s hands holding a baptism necklace gift - Baby dedication vs baptism - Baby Journey
The Catholic church recognizes Orthodox baptism and vice versa. It applies to almost all Christian churches.


Can a baby be baptized and dedicated?

Yes, you can participate in the dedication and once your child is old enough to profess his faith, he can get baptized.

Are there godparents at a dedication?

Having godparents at a dedication isn’t common, but it can happen if you decide to do so.

What religion does a dedication instead of baptism?

Dedication is a ceremony in Christianity, in Evangelical churches, such as Pentecostal and Baptist churches.

What does the Bible say about dedication?

Infant dedications are mentioned occasionally in the Bible, highlighting the role of parents in presenting children to the Lord. One of the great Bible dedication ideas is Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) It is also a great scripture to have on a baby dedication card.

What is the age limit for dedication?

Once your child is eight or nine years old, you cannot perform a baby dedication anymore. At that age, a child can make an informed decision about faith on their own, so there is no point in baby dedication.

What happens if you don’t dedicate or baptize your baby?

Christians believe that babies that aren’t baptized bear the original sin and cannot join Lord in heaven and eternal life. There aren’t such beliefs about non-dedicated babies.

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