When the parents or guardians have presented themselves with the child (or children) the minister shall say:

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’” (Matthew 19:13–14).

In presenting this child for dedication you signify not only your faith in the Christian religion but also your desire that he (she) may early know and follow the will of God, may live and die a Christian, and come unto everlasting blessedness.

In order to attain this holy end, it will be your duty, as parents (guardians), to teach him (her) early the fear of the Lord, to watch over his (her) education, that he (she) be not led astray; to direct his (her) youthful mind to the Holy Scriptures, and his (her) feet to the sanctuary; to restrain him (her) from evil associates and habits; and, as much as in you lies, to bring him (her) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Will you endeavor to do so by the help of God? If so, answer, “I will.”

Pastor: I now ask you, the congregation; will you commit yourself as the Body of Christ to support and encourage these parents as they endeavor to fulfill their responsibilities to this child and to assist by nurturing his (her) growth toward spiritual maturity?

Response: We will.

Pastor: Our loving Heavenly Father, we do here and now dedicate in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then the minister may offer the following prayer, or may use an extemporary prayer.

Heavenly Father, we humbly pray that You will take this child into Your loving care. Abundantly enrich him (her) with Your heavenly grace; bring him (her) safely through the perils of childhood; deliver him (her) from the temptations of youth; lead him (her) to a personal knowledge of Christ as Savior; help him (her) to grow in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and all people, and to persevere therein to the end. Uphold the parents with loving care, that with wise counsel and holy example they may faithfully discharge their responsibilities both to this child and to You. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


It is expected that prospective members have professed the Christian faith and been instructed in the doctrine and practices of the Church of the Nazarene. They may come forward to stand before the congregation and the pastor shall address them as follows:

Dearly Beloved: The privileges and blessings that we have in community together in the Church of Jesus Christ are sacred and precious. There is in it such hallowed fellowship, care, and counsel as cannot otherwise be known apart from the family of God.

There is the godly care of pastors, with the teachings of the Word and the inspiration of corporate worship. And there is cooperation in service, accomplishing that which cannot otherwise be done.

*Today we affirm again the doctrines and practices of the church.

We believe in one God— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe that human beings are born in sin; that they need the work of forgiveness through Christ and the new birth by the Holy Spirit; that subsequent to this there is the deeper work of heart cleansing or entire sanctification through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and that to each of these works of grace the Holy Spirit gives witness.

We believe that our Lord will return, the dead shall be raised, and that all shall come to final judgment with its rewards and punishments.

*NOTE: The minister may use the Agreed Statement of Belief (Manual paragraph 20) as an alternative.

Today we affirm again the Agreed Statement of Belief of the Church of the Nazarene:

That there is one God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that the Old and New Testament Scriptures, given by plenary inspiration, contain all truth necessary to faith and Christian living; that human beings are born with a fallen nature, and are, therefore, inclined to evil, and that continually; that the finally impenitent are hopelessly and eternally lost; that the atonement through Jesus Christ is for the whole human race; and that whosoever repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is justified and regenerated and saved from the dominion of sin; that believers are to be sanctified wholly, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the new birth, and also to the entire sanctification of believers; and that our Lord will return, the dead will be raised, and the final judgment will take place (Manual paragraphs 20.1–20.8).

Do you heartily believe these truths? If so, answer, “I do.”

Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and do you believe that He saves you now?

Response: I do by faith.

Desiring to unite with the Church of the Nazarene, do you commit to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself as expressed by the Covenants of Christian Character and Conduct? Do you commit to the mission of God as expressed in the doctrine, fellowship, and work of the Church of the Nazarene? Will you support the teachings of the Church of the Nazarene and strive, with God’s help, to grow in your understanding and practice of the same in a way that enhances the witness of the church? Will you endeavor in every way to glorify God, by a humble walk, godly conversation, and holy service; by devotedly giving of your resources; and by faithfully participating in the means of grace? Will you follow Jesus Christ all the days of your life, abstain from all evil, and seek earnestly to perfect holiness of heart and life in the fear of the Lord?

Response: I will.

The minister shall then say to the person or persons:

I welcome you into the Church of the Nazarene and the fellowship of this local congregation with its benefits and responsibilities. May the great Head of the Church bless and keep you, and enable you to be faithful in all good works, that your life and witness may be effective in care for the poor and oppressed and in leading others to Christ.


Recognizing the varied global and cultural contexts regarding marriage, the Church of the Nazarene suggests the following principles:

  • Equality between husband and wife
  • Covenantal relationship reflecting the covenantal relationship between Christ and His church
  • Use of language that is legally and culturally appropriate. This ritual does not eliminate or replace the legal requirements of any country.

The following ceremony is offered as a resource.

At the day and time appointed for the solemnization of matrimony, the persons to be married—having been qualified according to law and by careful counsel and guidance by the minister—standing together, the couple shall face the minister, and the minister shall address the congregation as follows:

Dearly Beloved: We are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together (Name of Groom) and (Name of Bride) in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, instituted of God in the innocence of Eden, symbolizing the mystical union between Christ and His Church. This holy estate Christ adorned and sanctified with His presence and first miracle that He performed, in Cana of Galilee, and the writer to the Hebrews commended as being honorable among allpeople. It is, therefore, not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God.

Into this holy estate these persons present now come to be joined.

Addressing the couple to be married, the minister shall say:
_________________________ and _________________________, I require and charge you both as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that the commitment to marriage is a commitment to permanence. It is the intent of God that your marriage will be for life, and that only death will separate you.

If the vows you exchange today be kept without violation, and if you seek always to know and do the will of God, your lives will be blessed with His presence, and your home will abide in His peace.

Following the charge the minister shall say unto the man:

_________________________, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, comfort, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her, so long as you both shall live?

Response: I will.

Then shall the minister say unto the woman:

_________________________, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, comfort, honor, and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him, so long as you both shall live?

Response: I will.

Then the minister shall ask:

Will you as (parents of the bride and groom, members of the families, and/or members of God’s family) give your blessings to this union?

Response (by parents of the bride and groom, members of the families, and/or members of God’s family): We will.

Facing each other and joining right hands, the couple shall then exchange the following vows:

The man shall repeat after the minister:

I, _________________________, take you, _________________________, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better-for worse, for richer-for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge you my faith.

The woman shall repeat after the minister:

I, _________________________, take you, _________________________, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better-for worse, for richer-for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge you my faith.

If desired, a ring ceremony may be inserted at this point. The minister receives the ring from the groomsman and, in turn, passes it to the groom. As he then places it upon the bride’s finger, he shall repeat, after the minister:

This ring I give you as a token of my love and as a pledge of my constant fidelity.

Repeat for double ring ceremony.

The couple then shall kneel as the minister offers the following, or an extemporaneous prayer:

Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life, send Your blessing upon these Your servants, (Name of Groom) and (Name of Bride), whom we now bless in Your name; so they may keep the vow and covenant made between them this hour and may ever remain in love and peace together, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the minister say:

Forasmuch as this man and woman have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and have declared the same by joining of hands, I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder. Amen.

The minister shall then add this blessing:

God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with His favor look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace. May you so live together in this life that in the world to come you may have life everlasting.

The minister may then conclude with an extemporaneous prayer and/or benediction. (532.7, 533.2, 534.1, 538.19)


Dearly Beloved: We are gathered today to pay our final tribute of respect to that which was mortal of our deceased loved one and friend. To you members of the family who mourn your loss, we especially offer our deep and sincere sympathy. May we share with you the comfort afforded by God’s Word for such a time as this:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1–3).

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25–26).

Invocation (in the minister’s own words or the following):

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we come into this sanctuary of sorrow, realizing our utter dependence upon You. We know You do love us and can turn even the shadow of death into the light of morning. Help us now to wait before You with reverent and submissive hearts.
You are our Refuge and Strength, O God—a very present Help in time of trouble. Grant unto us Your abundant mercy. May those who mourn today find comfort and healing balm in Your sustaining grace. We humbly bring these petitions in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

A hymn or special song

Selections of scripture:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3–9).

(Other passages that might be used are: Matthew 5:3–4, 6, 8; Psalms 27:3–5, 11, 13–14; 46:1–6, 10–11.)


A hymn or special song

Closing prayer

* * *

At the Graveside:

When the people have assembled, the minister may read any or all of the following scriptures:

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25–27).

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52, 54–58).

“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13).

The minister shall then read one of the following committal statements:

For a Believer:

Forasmuch as the spirit of our departed loved one has returned to God, who gave it, we therefore tenderly commit his (her) body to the grave in sure trust and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall give to us new bodies like unto His glorious body. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”

For a Nonbeliever:

We have come now to commit the body of our departed friend to its kindred dust. The spirit we leave with God, for we know the merciful Judge of all the earth will do right. Let us who remain dedicate ourselves anew to live in the fear and love of God, so that we may obtain an abundant entrance into the heavenly kingdom.

For a Child:

In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commit the body of this child to the grave. And as Jesus, during His earthly life, took the children into His arms and blessed them, may He receive this dear one unto himself, for, as He said, “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”


Our Heavenly Father, God of all mercy, we look to You in this moment of sorrow and bereavement. Comfort these dear ones whose hearts are heavy and sad. Will You be with them, sustain and guide them in the days to come. Grant, O Lord, that they may love and serve You and obtain the fullness of Your promises in the world to come.

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20–21).


Following the singing of an appropriate hymn, let the secretary read the names and positions of the officers to be installed. These may come forward and stand at the altar of the church, facing the minister. A covenant card should be provided for each. The minister shall then say:

Recognizing God’s method of setting apart certain workers for specific areas of Christian service, we come to this moment of installation of these officers (and/or teachers) who have been properly chosen to serve in our church for the ensuing year. Let us consider God’s instructions to us from His Holy Word.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1–2).

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:16).

“Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” (Galatians 6:6).

We now come to this important moment when you who stand before the altar are to take upon yourselves the task of caring for the affairs of the church and Nazarene Missions International (NMI), Nazarene Youth International (NYI), and Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI). May you look upon the assignments you now assume as special opportunities for service for our Lord, and may you find joy and spiritual blessing in the performance of your respective duties.

Yours is no light task, for the ongoing of the church and the destiny of souls is in your hands. The development of Christian character is your responsibility, and leading the unsaved to Jesus Christ is your highest objective. May God grant you wisdom and strength as you do His work for His glory.

You have been given a card on which is printed a covenant. We shall read it in unison, and as we do so, let us make it a personal commitment.

Worker’s Covenant

In consideration of the confidence placed in me by the church in being selected for the office I now assume, I hereby covenant:

To maintain a high standard of Christian living and example in harmony with the ideals and standards of the Church of the Nazarene.

To cultivate my personal Christian experience by setting aside each day definite time for prayer and Bible reading.

To be present at the regular Sunday School, the Sunday morning and Sunday evening preaching services, and the midweek prayer meeting of the church, unless providentially hindered.

To attend faithfully all properly called meetings of the various boards, councils, or committees to which I have been, or will be, assigned.

To notify my superior officer if I am unable to be present at the stated time, or to carry out my responsibilities in this office.

To read widely the denominational publications, and other books and literature which will be helpful to me in discharging the duties of my office.

To improve myself and my skills by participating in Continuing Lay Training courses as opportunity is afforded.

To endeavor to lead people to Jesus Christ by manifesting an active interest in the spiritual welfare of others and by attending and supporting all evangelistic meetings in the church.

The minister shall then offer an appropriate prayer, and a special song of dedication may be sung, after which the minister shall say:

Having pledged together your hearts and hands to the task of carrying forward the work of this church in your particular assignments, I herewith install you in the respective positions to which you have been elected or appointed. You are now a vital part of the organizational structure and leadership of this church. May you, by example, by precept, and by diligent service, be effective workers in the vineyard of the Lord.

The minister shall ask the congregation to rise, and shall address them as follows:

You have heard the pledge and covenant entered into by your church leaders for the coming year. I now charge you, as a congregation, to be loyal in your support of them. The burdens which we have laid upon them are heavy, and they will need your assistance and prayers. May you always be understanding of their problems and tolerant of their seeming failures. May you lend assistance joyfully when called upon, so that, as we work together, our church may be an effective instrument in winning the lost to Christ.

The minister may then lead in a concluding prayer or have the congregation repeat the Lord’s Prayer in unison.


District Superintendent: Loved ones in Christ, we are gathered on this Lord’s Day for the special purpose of officially organizing the (name) Church of the Nazarene. Indeed you are already a church but today the life of this congregation moves to a new level as you embrace the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of an organized congregation in accordance with the Constitution and polity of the Church of the Nazarene.

On behalf of the global family of Nazarenes, I commend you for your vision, your faith, and your diligent labor as you have worked together hand in hand and heart to heart to be a community of faith that lives as an authentic expression of the kingdom of God in the world. By this act of organization, you declare your intention to share with the global family of Nazarenes in fulfilling our common mission: “To make Christlike disciples in the nations.”

Three core values guide us in this mission:

We are a Christian people. We stand with Christians everywhere in affirming the historic Trinitarian creeds, and we deeply value our particular heritage in the Wesleyan-holiness tradition. We look to the Bible as our primary source of truth as it proclaims Christ to us, and “all things necessary to our salvation.”

We are a Holiness people. We believe that the grace of God provides not only forgiveness for sins but also the cleansing of our hearts by faith. By this gracious act of the Holy Spirit, we are sanctified and empowered to live Christlike lives in the world.

We are a Missional people. We believe God calls us to participation in the kingdom mission of reconciliation. We do this by preaching the gospel, by acts of compassion and justice, and by making disciples after the pattern of Jesus.

District Superintendent to the pastor: Pastor, would you please now present those who will be the charter members of (name) Church of the Nazarene?

Pastor: (name of district superintendent), it is my honor to present to you the charter members of this congregation. I commend them to you as brothers and sisters in Christ who are committed to our common mission as members of the Church of the Nazarene.

(Pastor reads the names or introduces each member or family.)

District Superintendent: Brothers and Sisters, I ask you now to reaffirm your membership vows.

Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and do you believe that He saves you now?

Response: I do by faith.

Do you affirm the Agreed Statement of Belief of the Church of the Nazarene?

Response: I do.

Do you covenant to give yourself to the fellowship and work of God in connection with the Church of the Nazarene as set forth in the Covenant of Christian Character and the Covenant of Christian Conduct? Will you endeavor in every way to glorify God, by a humble walk, godly conversation, and holy service; by devotedly giving of your means; by faithful attendance upon the means of grace; and, abstaining from all evil, will you seek earnestly to perfect holiness of heart and life in the fear of the Lord?

Response: I will.

District Superintendent: Therefore, by the authority entrusted to me as superintendent of the (name) District Church of the Nazarene, I hereby declare the official organization of the (name) Church of the Nazarene. Welcome to the global family of Nazarene congregations. May the Lord in His great mercy equip you daily with everything good for doing His will. And may the peace of Christ be with you.


Minister: Having been prospered by the hand of the Lord and enabled by His grace and strength to complete this building to the glory of His name, we now stand in God’s presence to dedicate this structure to the service of His kingdom.

To the glory of God our Father, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift; to the honor of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior; and to the praise of the Holy Spirit, Source of light, and life, and power—our Sanctifier,

Congregation: We do now, with joy and gratitude, humbly dedicate this building.

Minister: In remembrance of all who have loved and served this church, establishing the heritage we now enjoy, and who are now part of the Church Triumphant,

Congregation: We gratefully dedicate this edifice (sanctuary, education building, fellowship hall, etc.).

Minister: For worship in prayer and song, for the preaching of the Word, for the teaching of the Scriptures, and for the fellowship of the saints,

Congregation: We solemnly dedicate this house of God.

Minister: For the comfort of those who mourn, for the strengthening of the weak, for the help of those who are tempted, and for the giving of hope and courage to all who come within these walls,

Congregation: We dedicate this place of fellowship and prayer.

Minister: For the sharing of the good news of salvation from sin, for the spreading of scriptural holiness, for the giving of instruction in righteousness, and for the service of our fellowmen,

Congregation: We reverently dedicate this building.

Unison: We, as laborers together with God, now join hands and hearts and dedicate ourselves anew to the high and holy purposes to which this building has been set apart. We pledge our loyal devotion, faithful stewardship, and diligent service to the end that in this place the name of the Lord shall be glorified, and His kingdom shall be advanced; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.