What Is the Difference Between a Christening & A Blessing?
By Rose Sartaguda, eHow Contributor
A Baptism is performed in a church.
A blessing is a simple ritual usually done at home or in a hospital by the father or the parents of newborn infants, usually in life-threatening situations and cannot be brought yet to church for baptism. Here, the parent says a prayer of blessing, dedicating the child to the Lord, sprinkling her with water, and lifting her up to the Lord. On the other hand, Christening, or more officially known as the Sacrament of Baptism, is the first of seven sacraments which Catholic Christians must partake of. Through baptism, a person becomes a child of God and coheir with Christ. It removes all traces of original sin and is believed to be a channel for many graces and virtues.
Removal of Original Sin
Christians believe we inherit by birth original sin from our ancestor Adam, the first man who sinned against the Lord. According to Catholicdoors.com, "The Sacrament of Baptism gives the person a new life through Jesus. It brings the person back to God."
Coheirs with Jesus
EWTN.com's Instruction on Infant Baptism states that, "Infants should receive 'as soon as is convenient' (quam primum commode) the sacrament (of baptism), 'through which they are rescued from the devil's power and adopted as God's children.'" As children of God, Christians believe they share in the gift of eternal salvation, which Jesus has won for his people, his brothers and sisters.
Receiving Spiritual Gifts
To be baptized in the Catholic Church means more than being sprinkled with holy water and given a Christian name. In it, the Holy Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) bestows upon the Christian many spiritual graces and virtues. Spiritual gifts are necessary, Catholics believe, for living the Christian faith and growing in perfect charity.
According to Catholicdoors.com, "When a person is baptized, he is devoted to God." He is set apart from the world, from worldly pursuits and desires. He is a new creature, consecrated to the Lord forever, taking part in the mission of the church.
Disciples in Mission
As part of the Body of Christ, church-baptized Christians are expected to actively work for the mission of the church---to bring the good news of salvation to the world and help others return to God. EWTN.com's Instruction on Infant Baptism further states that, "The Church must respond to the mission that Christ gave to the Apostles after His resurrection: 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' (Matthew 28:18-19). Transmitting the faith and administering Baptism are closely linked in this command of the Lord, and they are an integral part of the Church's mission, which is universal and cannot cease to be universal."
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