Dedication vs Baptism: Difference and Comparison

Christianity is a monotheistic religion, and its followers are known as Christians. This religion is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ; the adherents believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.


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The basic teachings of Christianity include; love towards God, love and harmony towards other people, faith in God, etc.,

There are several religions in the world, for example, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism; among all, Christianity is the most practised religion in the world. Around 33 per cent of the world’s population is adherent to Christianity. This religion is mostly practised in the Western world.

Adherence to any religion makes the soul pure; people can follow any religion of their choice, it can be by birth, or they can change their religion with few rituals.

Every religion has some rituals with which they can make any person adhere to their religion; these rituals are required to be performed under the priests, with the proper holy procedure.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dedication is a religious ceremony where parents commit to raising their child in the faith, while baptism is a sacrament that signifies spiritual rebirth.
  2. Dedication is common in Protestant and Evangelical churches, while baptism is common in Catholic and Orthodox churches.
  3. Dedication involves sprinkling water or anointing with oil, while baptism involves immersion in water.

Dedication vs Baptism

Dedication is a ceremony in which parents dedicate their children to God and promise to raise them in a Christian environment. Baptism is a sacrament where an individual is immersed in water or has water poured over their head as a sign of their acceptance of Jesus Christ as their saviour.

Dedication vs Baptism 1

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonDedicationBaptism
DefinitionA ceremony in Christianity in which the newborn or infant is dedicated to God and welcomed into the church.A ceremony marked by a ritual of using water to admit an individual to the Christian community.
MethodVerbal exchange Pouring of water
ConditionsThe child should be Christian.The person can be of another religion.
PurposeThe commitment to raising the child in a Godly wayDeclaring faith in Jesus Christ.
Performed onInfantsAny person

What is Dedication?

Dedication is a ceremony in Christianity in which the newborn or infant is dedicated to God and welcomed into the church. In this ceremony, the parents are also dedicated to God and are always the child as a Christian. It is a holy ceremony performed by the priest of the church.

Protestant denominations majorly perform baby dedication. Some sects of Christianity do not believe in baby dedication; instead believe in baptism.

It is not necessary to perform the ceremony of dedication on the day of birth of the child; it can be performed whenever the parent finds it suitable.

The ceremony of dedication involves proper Involvement of the family, especially the child’s parents.

The ceremony involves reading passages from the Bible and verbal exchange in which the Minister asks the parents ( including grandparents, if any) if they are ready to raise the child as a Christian according to various criteria.

The verbal exchange is followed by a final prayer and some gift offered to the child and parents with a certificate. The congregation may sing a closing hymn as well. This is the basic ritual of a dedication ceremony.

The dedication can be a large or smaller ceremony depending on the child’s family.    

Parents doing dedication ceremonies accept and agree that they will raise the child in ways directed by God and not their ways. This practice means raising the child in “a godly way”. The principles can be taught by the grandparents as well. 


What is Baptism?

Baptism is a ceremony marked by a ritual of using water to admit an individual to the Christian community. This means burying previous life and accepting Christianity as a new religion. Accepting Christianity means that the person loves, trusts and has hope in Christ. 

In churches, baptism is consistently taught as a ritual that makes the believer surrender his life in faith and obedience to God. It is believed that baptism cleanses the person from sin and changes their state from an alien or demon to a person of God. 

Baptism is practised in several ways; it can be done through aspersion, which means a sprinkling of holy water on the head of the person; another method is a fusion wherein the holy water is poured over the head or by immersion wherein the person stands in the water, and holy water is poured on body parts, another form of it is complete submersion in the water.

Submersion is predominantly practised in orthodox churches. Since the protestant reformation, some groups have considered submersion obligatory. It is also practised in the Latin church of the catholic church.

In several denominations, baptism is practised on young children. The ceremony is accompanied by giving a new name to the person.

The meaning and belief of baptism remain the same in all sects of Christianity. The ultimate aim of baptism is to free the person from the sin of his past life and make him a human in the kingdom of God. The baptized person is expected to follow the path of Christ.    


Main Differences Between Dedication and Baptism

  1. Dedication is a ceremony in Christianity in which the newborn or infant is dedicated to God and welcomed into the church; on the other hand, baptism is a ceremony marked by water to admit an individual to the Christian community.
  2. Dedication is done on a child born in a Christian family; on the other hand, baptism is done on a person of another religion.  
  3. The dedication ceremony is performed verbally; on the other hand, baptism is performed by pouring water on the candidate.
  4. Dedication is performed on infants; on the other hand, baptism is performed on children or any person of any age who has decided to accept Christianity.
  5. Dedication is done to commit that the child will be raised in God’s way; on the other hand, baptism is a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ.
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