What's The Difference Between A Baptism And A Christening?
The short answer is that both designate the same sacrament; there is no essential difference.
The word Baptism is adapted from the Greek word for the sacramental bath that connects us to Christ, introduces us to church membership, and provides us with a new name by which we are known in the church. This word is familiar to all believers.
The word christening is widely used, perhaps more in Protestant circles than Catholic, but not as the official name for the sacrament. In fact its familiar reference to launching a ship or test-driving new equipment or naming just about anything may taint it in some believers' minds. So maybe we should consider putting Christ back into christening much as we speak of putting Christ back into Christmas
The terms christen and christening (with various spellings) have a long history in the English language stretching back almost a thousand years, Their earliest meanings were "baptize" and "Baptism," and both Shakespeare and Chaucer used them in that sense. We are reminded that our language of belief and prayer has always been enriched by unofficial expressions that complement the "right" words of approved theological formulations.
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