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Friday, February 22 2013
Godparents' Duties
By Sandra Fults, eHow Contributor
Godparents witness and affirm a baptism or confirmation and guide the person forward from the sacred event through new spiritual and religious terrain. Godparents' guidance does not end with the sacraments of Baptism or Confirmation, but endures for a lifetime. Godparents meet certain criteria, such as age and physical ability to touch the candidate as they receive the sacrament, and must be in full communion with the Roman Catholic, Orthodox Church. Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe godparents answer to God regarding their fulfillment of spiritual duties and the process of a Christian's catechesis, or religious instruction.
·        Godparents are in full communion with the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church. They share in the sacramental life of their church, which includes attending Mass and participating in Holy Eucharist --- Communion. When godparents promise to ensure a child's spiritual welfare in the Church, they must reflect values such as obedience to God's Church. The Roman Catholic Church allows members of the Orthodox churches to stand as godparents. Godparents to Orthodox children must be Orthodox. Above all duties, godparents must help a child become a follower of Christ and a believer in the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
During and After the Ceremony
·        Godparents stand at the baptismal font with the child, the parents and the priest during the ceremony. The godparent places the baptized infant in its mother's arms before the congregation. The godparents' duties enter a new and continuing stage. Godparents who live near their godchild attend Mass with the child for three Sundays after the baptism, carrying the lit baptismal candle. As the child grows, godparents stay spiritually active in her life, serving as role models for Christ-like behavior. According to the Orthodox Christian Information Center, faithful godparents follow the tenets of Christian faith, praying, fasting and living the sacramental Orthodox or Catholic life. The godparents' spiritual life and values inform the growing godchild's formation.
·        There is more to Christian faith than attending Mass and other holy days of obligation. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, asks godparents to tend to a godchild's catechesis, or Catholic instruction. The Catholic Church believes that godparents should teach their godchild that the Church of Rome is the sole ecclesial authority on earth and forms the Body of Christ. Godparents exercise their roles in a child's life according to the authority the Church extends to them. The Orthodox Church says godparents' greatest duty is to pray for God's guidance throughout their godchild's life.
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Posted by: AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, February 19 2013
Choosing a Baptism Date for Your Child

When is the right time to baptize your baby? Here are some things to consider when choosing this important date in your child's life.
When is the right time to baptize your baby? There is no concrete answer to this question. It’s a matter of choice and what is the best time for you and your child.

There are several things that may help you with your decision:

If you are a member of a church you could speak to your minister or church leader and discuss with him or her the recommendations of that particular faith.

You may wish to do some research on your own. There are many books and publications that deal with Baptism.

The accepted definition for the word ‘baptism’ is "........ a rite of washing with water as a sign of religious purification and consecration".

Why do you want to have your child baptized? Is it because you consider it a naming ceremony or an excuse for a party? A child is named when their birth is registered. A party is a celebration, and certainly the birth of your baby is worthy of a celebration and thankfulness for his or her safe arrival - however it is not necessary to have a baptism for this.

If you believe that your child should have a choice and take part in their baptism then you would wait until the child understands the act of commitment. To this end you may wish to have a Dedication ceremony where the baby is introduced to the ‘church family’, his or her name is announced, and then there is a party or gathering to celebrate the arrival of the baby. There is no age limit for baptisms nor is there a ‘best before date’ that must be adhered to.

If you have an understanding of the commitment needed for the baptism of your baby, the godparents willing to speak on the baby’s behalf, and the permission of your minister or church leader then you should go ahead with the ceremony.

If you are unsure of your commitment, or you feel strongly that the child should be a major part of that commitment, then you should wait until the child is old enough to take part in the decision making.
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Posted by: AT 10:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 06 2013

A Christening Gift That Lasts a Lifetime

A silver napkin ring is still one of the most popular and lasting gifts given to babies at their Christening. This may seem an odd choice since, sadly, fewer and fewer families eat together on a daily basis around the dinner table and the majority of those that do will use a paper serviette in preference to a linen napkin. But the tradition of napkin rings as christening gifts endures.

Before the 19th Century, napkins were tied with a strip of colored ribbon or named tape. This was a purely practical response to domestic life at the time. Since washday took place only once a week, linen napkins were only washed once a week, so each individual napkin had its own unique tie to identify its owner. The idea of using the same napkin for a whole week may not appeal to us now in more hygienic times, but, as we can see, the simple napkin ring was born of necessity, not for decoration.

The first recorded examples of napkin rings made from silver date from the early 1800's, but it was during the later Victorian period that the silver napkin ring came into its own. For middle and upper class Victorians, the display of wealth at the dinner table was an essential declaration of status. The more ostentatiously decorated your table, the higher up the social pecking order you could place yourself. A sort of Victorian "Banqueting Bling". Of course the Victorians would never admit to being so overtly brash, so their blatant bragging had to be passed off as etiquette - a social nicety.

So there, amongst the candelabra, elaborate table centres and ornate cutlery, you will find the humble napkin ring doing its bit for Victorian propriety. The silver napkin ring became yet another "must have" gift for Christenings and weddings in Victorian and Edwardian society.

The arrival of disposable paper napkins and serviettes should have sounded the death knell of the napkin ring at dinner tables everywhere, but this traditional piece of tableware is becoming ever more popular. In a world where everything is disposable and transient, the napkin ring is a personal possession that is treasured for life. The napkin ring presented at a baby’s Christening is highly likely to appear at the dinner table on their 80th birthday.

Napkin rings come in all shapes and sizes, from round and oval to octagonal and square. Plain or ornately decorated, they are often engraved with the owner’s initials and, sometimes, their date of birth. As such, napkin rings are very personal possessions. Every member of the family can identify their own napkin ring. Silver napkin rings have become popular as Christening gifts for this very reason. There are few presents that are so personal to the individual and that can be used and treasured for a whole lifetime.

The napkin ring has little religious significance (you are highly unlikely to have found one at the Last Supper) and it can make no major aesthetic claims for beauty and design, but, if you are looking for a Christening gift that will stand the test of time – look no further.

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Posted by: AT 09:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, February 02 2013
Baby Naming Ceremony

Baby naming ceremony is a celebration of the birth of your child. It is a function where relatives and friends are invited to gather at home or in church to bless the newborn. According to your choice, you can choose baptism, church blessings or secular ceremony to name your baby. Take a look at some of these ceremonies.
Baby naming ceremony is a special occasion to name your newborn baby. Naming a person is important for his identity that abides for the whole life. Parents confirm baby’s identity among the relatives through this event. The baby’s arrival into family is welcomed hereby.

Parents or guardians can arrange a naming celebration at home or any venue with their relatives and friends. Usually people name their child by Classic, Birthday or Bespoke ceremony. You can select your own program; select a poem, a well-organized speech, entertaining plays for children or many delicious recipes as per your concept. Sometimes it is preferable to select rejoicers who are trained and will help you to conduct the ceremony according to your choice.

Further, a script option is another alternative, for the parents who are guided for selecting their own program rather than sourcing the work outside. You can also name your elder children at the same time when you baptize your newly born.

Different Types of Naming Ceremonies

Most of the Christians favor christening or baptism where parents profess their faith before Pope. Baptism is a religious ceremony and is run mostly by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church. During the ceremony, the baby is cleansed with holy water. Whereas in a church blessing, children are given gifts and a thanksgiving prayer is recited before God. As per some customs, parents only pray for blessings without any ceremonial formalities. These days informal church blessing or thanksgiving is arranged mainly on Sundays and constitutes a series of enchanted prayers.

Jewish customs mainly follow two customs: Traditional Synagogue worship service followed by a Collation or Kiddush from the Torah (sacred book of Moses) for the healthy recovery of both mother and the child. The baby is named to get an identity; most of the time circumcision is arranged for a male child eight days after his birth. Relatives and friends can suggest names and explain the meanings respectively in Hebrew and English languages. Second is the Brit milah, a less formal ceremony held in the parents’ home where grandparents come and bless their grandchild.

Secular ceremony, the latest trend in UK, focuses on the practice of relevant faith with personal care to the child. Here we find no prayer or blessing as these concepts are considered to be orthodox.

Baby Naming Tips

The first thing to be done is register the birth of your child and mention the time, date, sex, place and baby’s name supported by the details of parents. Registration process should be initiated within 42 days at the registry office situated in your area or where the baby was born.

The name you have in your mind for the baby should match with your name if you wish or it can be suggestive of the baby’s features too. You can also think for several nicknames according to the initial letters of your baby's name.

Select a name that is interesting, unique and meaningful, but keep in mind that he/she has to live with it their whole life. Declaration method can enrich the naming ceremony as it includes announcement and invitation cards to relatives and friends, and a certificate from the church.
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Posted by: AT 12:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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