Date: November 11, 2010
IREF is an official entity within the Dutch Protestant Church’s (PKN’s) organization network in Delft and is represented as Church Committee at the PKN’s local platform. Consistent with the PKN’s reformed doctrine, IREF subscribes to the sacrament of infant baptism. This sacrament is performed for young born children of believing parents. In response to this, it is hoped and expected that the child will express his/her faith in a public confession of faith ceremony.
Sometimes, we receive a request from parents who want to have their child blessed during an official blessing ceremony. Typically, such a question is received when the parents come from a background where the doctrine and sacrament of believer’s baptism is administered. IREF respects and facilitates this parents’ request for their child to be blessed and for themselves to be dedicated. In accordance with the PKN liturgy documents, IREF has decided to use the expression ‘blessing’ instead of the probably more internationally used word ‘dedication’.
For either doctrine, the sacrament of infant baptism followed by a public confession of faith ceremony or an infant blessing ceremony followed by the sacrament of believer’s baptism, we do expect the parents to subscribe to the fellowship’s wording of blessing and promises as written down in the respective Baptism and Blessing Forms. We also expect all those part of the fellowship to respect and be sensitive to each other’s particular beliefs as regards baptism and blessing.
For a theological exposition of infant and believer’s baptism we do refer to doctrinal documents of the Reformed and Evangelical churches, respectively.