Despite the decline in Christian church attendance in the US and Europe, many parents of new babies still prefer to have their baby christened in a church. The christening becomes a special celebration, to which family and close friends are usually sent invitations, and the baby is taken for her baptismal and to be christened with their name.
The precise christening ceremony, and even level of significance, varies between church denominations, but mostly the christening of a baby is an essential ceremony for salvation and sacrament. Socially, it is a major occasion for many families, putting christening alongside weddings and funerals as church gathering times for families.
In some ways, a christening has some similarities with a wedding. Christening gifts are often given for the baby, just as bridal gifts may be given for a wedding, and some parents also give christening favors. In advance, invitations to the guests are normally sent out, and godparents selected instead of the best man and maid of honor in a wedding. When it comes to the baby's dress, christening gowns, although very small, can be as elaborate and beautiful as a wedding dress.
While there is not so much organization involved with a christening as for a church wedding, many parents do like to make it a special occasion, with at least a small reception afterwards. As for the baby, they will not necessarily enjoy it much. Our little daughter could not wait to get out of her christening gown, and was grumpy the whole time until she changed out of it. At least then she was able to enjoy the garden reception.
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