by Allen Garcia
A christening, baptismal, or baby blessing ceremony can be a religious ceremony that recognizes a family’s particular faith in their God and their commitment to extend their beliefs to the new arrival in the family. There are some differences between the three but, for the most part, they are quite similar.
If you are planning a christening for your newborn, chances are you have a church that you attend regularly and probably intend to have as the location where your baby’s christening will be done. If you are not a member of a church but would still like to have your baby christening, try checking the local community listing for churches and make a few phone calls to the churches to find out if they offer christenings for newborns and what the requirements would be to have your baby christened at their church. It’s very possible that they will offer christenings and be delighted to have your family come and make your christening memories in their sanctuary.
Although a christening ceremony is a relatively short practice, as a courtesy to other families who may be present on that day, it is possible that you will want to consider staying for awhile before and after your own ceremony to sit witness as others have their newborn christened.
Because your baby’s christening is a very special event, you may want to invite more than the baby’s godparents and grandparents to witness. Make sure you check with the church to ensure that there are not any limitations to the number of people who can accompany you to the event.
No doubt you will want to dress your baby in all white, which is a practice that speaks of the purity of the color white and the innocence of your baby. There are many christening outfits to choose from for both boys and girls. You can start with checking at your local department store or, depending on how much you want to spend on your baby’s christening outfit, you can even have an outfit that is custom made just for your baby. After the christening ceremony, be sure to save your baby’s christening outfit as it may become a family heirloom that is used again for your grandchild.
During the actual christening procedure, the baby’s parents, godparents and grandparents typically all accompany the baby to the minister, who will usually take the baby in his or her arms, inquire about the baby’s names and names of those members present. The minister then will speak a prayer over the baby and christening his or her head with a few drops of holy water. It’s okay if the baby cries as the water may be cool or startle the baby, particularly sleeping babies or those who do not like baths. The minister understands this and may even welcome the cry as a blessed response to the christening.
After the formal christening at the church, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a christening party at home to celebrate.
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