The Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton

Rev. Brandon Thomas Crowley, MDiv, STM | Senior Pastor
Rev. Howard Haywood | Pastor Emeritus

21 Curve Street West Newton, MA 02465 | 617.332.5870


Baby Dedication Guidelines

Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. (Mark 10:16)

As Baptist Protestants, we believe that persons should make the conscious decision to unite with the Christian community. Therefore, it is in our tradition that we do not christen nor baptize, but rather we dedicate children to God. The parents are advised to read this information regarding the guidelines of Myrtle Baptist Church, prior to making any arrangements. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 617.332.5870.


Part I: Reserving a Date

The parent/guardian(s) must call the church office at least one-month in advance to schedule a baby dedication. Baby Dedications are performed on the first and third Sundays of each month, within the morning worship service. (Please indicate the particular Sunday of preference when you call). In order to confirm the date, the Baby Dedication Information Form needs to be completed and returned to the Administrative Office. There will only be one dedication per Sunday, and therefore, the schedule is developed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Part II: Preliminary Meeting

The parent/guardian(s) must schedule and attend a conference with the Minister of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation in order to learn the purpose of baby dedication, the foundation of spiritual parenting, the role of a spiritual community, as well as to answer any questions that parent/guardian(s) or other family members may have.

Part III: Pastoral Meeting

After the necessary meeting with the Minister of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, the parent/guardian(s) must schedule and attend a one-hour conference with the Pastor. It is in this meeting that the Pastor will get to know the family personally as well as the child in order to develop a liturgy that is intimate and personal to the family and the child. The Pastor will also rehearse with the parent/guardian(s) how the ceremony will take place. For the sake of efficiency, the meetings will take place on the same day, one after the other.

Part IV: Ceremony Procedures

  1. The parent/guardian(s), family members, and friends are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the worship service in order to be seated collectively as well as to avoid walking distractions; the number of attendees and guests should be specified as best as possible on the Baby Dedication Information Form.
  2. During the course of the worship service, immediately after the “Welcome and Fellowship” of the visitors, the Pastor will adjust accordingly and ask the parents to bring their child to the altar. The family and friends will be lined, single-file directly to the left of the altar from the congregational perspective in front of the planter.
    So that the transition from the regular worship service to the dedication ceremony is not distracting or confusing for the parents or congregation, the parent/guardian(s), family members, and friends are requested to be seated with the child on any of the first three rows of the sanctuary.
  3. Due to the sacredness of this occasion, all participants should wear proper attire in keeping with the reverence and dignity of coming to the altar of God; this will be addressed in both sessions—with the Minister of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation as well as with the Pastor.
  4. The parent/guardian(s) may, if they desire, request two other family members or friends to stand with them directly at the altar as God Parents. These two people should be two individuals who will be a spiritual encouragement and support to the parents in raising and training the child; this concept too will be addressed in the proper meetings before the dedication.
  5. After the ceremony, you may return back to your seats. It is also understood if you wish to sit near the rear of the sanctuary in the event that you need to step out to comfort you child.

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