Christening Ceremony: What it is all about
By: Elizabeth Ellis
Christians have many rites that mark certain stages or transition in their lives. One of these rites is baptism when water is put on the forehead of the baby to symbolize the baby has joined the Church or becoming a Christian. Parents are free to choose whether they want to hold a grand celebration out of it, or just throwing a simple reception. In early times, baptism has to take place in moving water to symbolize the movement of the Holy Spirit in human life. Nowadays, baptism ceremony normally take place in the church with a priest leading the ritual.
Whether you are hosting the party or being a guest, you must know a thing or two about gifts-giving. As a host, you may wish to prepare thank-you gifts for all your guests. The gift does not necessarily have to be big and expensive; a small thoughtful present is equally appreciated too. As a guest, you may pick gift items that have religious connotations, in line with the baptism theme. Like baby showers, the host and guests must know the importance of gift giving as a sign of gratitude and well-wishes. Once you have decided on the type of ceremony you like to organize, you can proceed to do the necessary matters such as fixing the date, contacting the church and booking the venue for the reception.
Godfather and godmother are essential elements in a baptism ceremony. Parents of the baby must choose godparents for their child. The decision can be made earlier and the godparents are informed about it. Normally parents would appoint one godmother and one godfather for their child. In other places, the arrangement may be different. The decision is entirely for the parents to make. Parents will need to inform the godparents about their decision. Normally parents would appoint their closest and most trusted friends as godparents to their baby. Godparents also bear the responsibility as guardians of the child. Parents may choose to hold the ceremony indoors or outdoors. Garden party on a sunny, pleasant day would be nice. Reception can also be held in hotels and private clubs.
Last minute invitations are not always good. It is recommended that invitation cards are sent out to the guests as early as two weeks prior to the event. They will be grateful to the host for informing them early. The guests can make the necessary arrangements and preparation to attend the ceremony. If for whatsoever reason the guest could not attend, he/she may inform the host about it. This also allow the host to make necessary arrangements like confirming seats booking at the restaurant and preparing door gifts.
It has always been a custom for the baby to wear white gown for the baptism ceremony. Other than the shades of white, cream or peach are acceptable too. Parents can hire a tailor to custom the gown for their baby, or they may use the family heirloom, gown that has been passed down from previous generations.
The baptism ceremony will not take longer than an hour. After the ceremony ends, guests are treated to a reception at a venue of the host's choice. It may be held indoors or outdoors, depending on the host's style, preference and budget. Unless the reception is held in the host's own home, he may have to reserve the venue early to avoid any glitches later.
Normally after the baptism ritual finish, guests will be invited to savor the foods being prepared especially for the occasion. Delightful treats like onion rings, shrimp and cuttlefish balls, and crab meat rolls, variety of salads with Parmesan cheese, French pastries, ice creams and cocktails are sure to entice guests. However, if the host wishes to be more economical, he may opt for home-cooked meals with the assistance of family members, relatives and helpful friends.
It is a good idea to prepare thank-you cards and presents a week or few days prior to the baptism ritual. Gifts are expressions of the host's appreciation for their guests. It is very thoughtful of the host/hostess to convey his/her gratitude in the form of small presents. The host may wish to get special gifts for the godparents of the baby. There are many resources in the library that the parents of the baby could refer to for gift ideas. Depending on their budget, there are plenty of choices easily available in the stores and online shops. Gifts are heart-warming; they make your guests feel very special. Gifts also convey messages of love and gratitude.
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