Advice on Planning a Christening
By Mark Walters
Your child’s baptism is an incredibly important part of their religious life, and it is something that you will want to be able to look back on with fond memories. Taking some time with your planning will help you hold a memorable and enjoyable event. The first step before you is to contact your church to find out what days they perform christening ceremonies. With that information in hand, you will be able to book the date for this momentous occasion and begin making the rest of your plans. Your next step is to choose the Godmother and Godfather. This is a huge honor. Not only do the Godparents assist the parents in the baby’s religious upbringing, but they may also be chosen to be Legal Guardians if something should happen to you. It is important to choose people who will stay in contact regularly with the child, even if they should move away. Typically, people will choose either family or very close friends as Godparents. Some religions have baptism classes that parents must take before the ceremony can be performed. There are also additional requirements for some religions, so it’s important to talk to your church so you can be sure you complete all the requirements. Once you are on track with the church for the baptism, have selected the dates and the chosen Godparents have agreed; you are ready to move on to invitations. You can choose store bought invitations, or you can have them custom made for a look that is as unique and beautiful as your baby.
Many people choose to have receptions after the baptism. If you will be having a small affair with close family and friends only, you might want to have it at your home and cater it yourself. If the gathering will be very large, you might want to rent a hall. If your baby will enjoy an individual christening, you can talk to the church about having the reception at their hall immediately after the ceremony. Once these fine details are determined, you can meet with a caterer to discuss menu options. At some point during this process you will need to choose your baby’s christening gown. Some family’s have special, heirloom christening gowns that are actually worn by most of the baby’s. If your family has such a tradition, you can follow it or you can choose to buy an outfit just for your baby. Christening gowns are a little like wedding dresses in that they can be anything from extremely basic and simple to very elaborate and detailed. If you are buying your baby’s christening outfit new, take the time to shop around for the perfect outfit for this special occasion. The final decision to make is what you will buy your child to commemorate this glorious event. You will want to choose something that they can always keep with them. A special cross or crucifix is a nice idea, although it can be hard to keep track of through the years. Another idea is a new bible or prayer book. You can then make notes in this book including the names of the Godparents and the date and place of the baptism. If your family is close to the minister or priest you can also document that information in the book. This bible can then become something your child will always keep not only as a reminder of their baptism, but as a source to help guide them on their journey.
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