Difference between Baptism and Dedication

Baptism and dedication are two concepts that can be confusing to some people, even those who are in the Christian faith. Some of them think that these terms are the same. Take a more detailed look into what baptism and dedication are all about.


Baptism vs Dedication
A photo of an infant baptism

Baptism is a Christian ceremony that is often performed by sprinkling water onto the individual’s forehead or by immersing them in water. It is an act of purification or regeneration and a declaration of the person’s dedication to Jesus Christ and the church. Water plays an important role in the baptism ceremony, as it symbolizes washing all or part of the body to wash away the person’s sins.

In some denominations or churches, baptism is performed on infants. Infant baptism is done through the sprinkling of water or partial submersion while other denominations perform the “believer’s baptism.” This is done through total immersion in water and is an indication of a person’s devotion to Christ. It is not a condition for salvation but a decision to follow Christ once salvation is received. Since infants cannot make that decision, some denominations perform an infant dedication instead.

Dedication is another Christian ceremony in which the parents or the family dedicate their infant to God. The parents make a commitment to submit a child to God’s will and raise the child according to His word and ways.

Baptism vs Dedication

What is the difference between baptism and dedication? Both are Christian ceremonies, but baptism involves water while dedication does not. Baptism is an act of openly identifying with what Christ did on the cross. It is not a medium for salvation but an act of faith. The person is completely submerged in water to signify washing away the old life. Other denominations perform infant baptism, in which the child is sprinkled with water.

On the other hand, dedication is a ceremony in which Christian parents dedicate their infant to God and make a promise to raise their child in a godly way. It is a commitment to the Lord to surrender their child to the will of God.

Comparison Chart

Baptism Dedication
Declaration of faith to Jesus Christ Commitment to raise the child in God’s ways
Uses water Does not use water
Can be performed on infants and anyone ready to make a decision Performed on a child or infant


Here’s a video that clearly explains what baptism is.