Sometime between birth and Bible college, almost every fundamentalist youngster is dragged up before the church congregation and prayed over before they are eaten. Seriously though, the actual practice is that they are prayed over to “dedicate them to the Lord” and as a sign to the congregation that the community of the church has a responsibility to pray for this child to watch for their soul. It’s also a sign that the parents are going to maintain their sacred fundy trust by muting all the TV commercials during the evening news lest the child hear the rock music played therein and desire in his infant heart to dance which is the first step on the road to degradation.
There are a couple of different ways in which the dedication goes down. In larger churches there is often a designated Sunday or two per year where the kids are dressed up and paraded in front of the church to a chorus of “ooohs” and “aaaah” from the crowd. This is affectionately known as the “Baby Parade” and is used as a draw to get Catholic grandmas and reprobate uncles to darken the door of the fundy church in order to watch this totally symbolic action.
In smaller churches, however, baby dedications may be performed as needed on the first possible Sunday after the child is born. Unless, of course, the church has its own midwife station set up behind the church bookstore just for those people who never miss church for any reason. “It’s a boy! Quick, run him on down to the altar!” The father then crosses the goal line, high-fives the pastor, and spikes the baby in the end zone.
It’s worth noting that many paedo-baptist folks will readily recognize that this whole dedication business is in reality a “dry baptism.” There’s even a certificate. Shhhhh. Don’t tell the Baptists.
164 thoughts on “Baby Dedications”
*notes that the piano is not white* conclusion-the church cannot be a true fundy church
My mother told me that I had been dedicated to the Lord. She must be doubly disappointed that I’m a liberal, feminist, democrat who went and married a lutheran.
Based on your own description; I’m in love with you! 🙂
I can’t speak for ALL Southern Baptist churches, but every one I’ve ever been to has done baby dedications. I’ve always felt kind of neutral about them; they’re fine and sometimes sweet, but not really necessary. I know a fundy couple whose grandchild was baptized in a Presbyterian church, and they flatly refused to attend. I asked my preacher grandpa if he saw any real difference in baby dedications and infant baptisms, and he said no. I asked if I ever had a baby baptized would he come, and he said, “Why, certainly!” I love my grandpa! So glad he’s not fundy 😀
Oddly enough, the first time I ever heard baby dedications called “dry baptisms” was from a Southern Baptist pastor…
I have 3 children and never participated in this faux evangelical/fundamentalist ritual. Either we christen or we don’t. Mind you, I think fundamentalism is like a very over ripe canteloupe. Try to see what’s going inside and watch out!!!
Yeah baby dedications are weird. It’s some Rumpelstiltskin bullshit. Shame on parents who buy it.
Aw, don’t go being too hard on baby dedications. It’s completely legit to rag a little bit on those who do them without realizing the “dry baptism” connotation, but plenty of us see the connection and like it. I’m too Anabaptist to have my children baptized, but the Episcopal church that my husband and I were a part of did a baby dedication for our son that was very purposefully in place of baptism; it was way of welcoming him into the congregation, placing a blessing on him, and assuring my husband and myself that the church “had our backs” in this whole parenting business. It was lovely (I miss that church so much 🙁 ).
There is nothing wrong with a church body celebrating its children. I know it is hard for people with a lot of academic knowledge about the faith to sit back and enjoy things like this, but it is possible to see it as fun and bonding for the congregation. I dedicated both of my kids because I enjoyed the rite of passage. I don’t have any ill will against those who do baptisms and christenings, it’s just what our,church did.