Parents to take a front seat facing the platform.
Reading of Scriptures (one or more of the following to be read):-
(a) Concerning the Child
I Sam. 1:4-28.
“And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion, for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb. And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make’ her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her: therefore she wept, and did not eat. Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons? So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then l will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall not razor come upon his head. And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard, therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee they petition that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in they sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife: and the Lord remembered her. Therefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called hi s name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord. And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for ever. And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the Lord establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young. And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed: and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord, as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.”
“And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, He shall not enter therein. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them. “
Luke 2: 21-22.
“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, His name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord.”
(b) To the Parents.
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.”
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy should, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. “
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
(c) Suitable remarks.
After this, the Minister takes the child in his arms and offers him or her to the Lord, pronouncing the name aloud, and dedicating the child using such words as the following.
“Now unto God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we do hereby solemnly and humbly dedicate thee; praying that in spirit, soul and body thou mayest become wholly the Lord’s and evermore live unto Him and serve Him. “
Whilst still holding the child he should then pray, including in the prayer the following petitions:-
That God’s blessing shall be upon the young life He has given and now receives into His tender care.
Listen to the word of Christ our Saviour in this Gospel as He has commanded that little children be brought unto Him.
As He has rebuked the opposer and said that their is the Kingdom of God.
Moreover, by His outwards appearance and His attires, He proclaimed His will unto them-they are the children of His Father and so dear unto Him. Therefore He draw them closer unto Him, embraced and bless them.
Therefore, do not be doubtful but believe with all enthusiasm that He who sits on the right hand of God in the Honourable High places is the same Saviour, who when He was alive take care of the children by Grace. Therefore according to my goodwill to this child (these children). I call upon all of you present to serve as witnesses in bringing this child back to the care of God who has given him unto us. In bringing this child back before the Lord, is it in your freewill and determination that by the Help of God you will teach the child the Holy word of God according to the principle of faith and practice, in attitude and also do exhort the child in seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that the child will be led into repentance unto God and that He might have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ through Him only the child could have eternal life?
The parent may answer! YES,
Suitable dedication cards may be given as a remembrance of this act. This service may be taken by local officers as well as by Ministers.