Are you unsure what a Christening is? Perhaps you have been invited to one and want to know more?
Or perhaps the time has come to christen your child and you aren’t sure how to approach the situation? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you.
Finding out what a Christening is can be a little challenging. There are some variations out there that make it tricky for us to find the answer that we need.
We can quickly find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed, with no clear answer in sight.
Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about a Christening.
What Is A Christening?
A Christening ceremony is a type of baptism for infants. The baby is baptized by being immersed in water or having it sprinkled on them. Parents select godparents who agree to take care of the child if needed.
Baptism is a Christian ceremony that symbolizes spiritual cleansing and rebirth. It usually takes place during infancy. The ritual involves welcoming the child into the Church fellowship.
What Does The Bible Say About Baptism?
In Acts 2:38 Paul says that he was baptized “in Jordan into the name of the Lord Jesus.”
In Luke 8:19-21 it says that Peter and John were sent by Jesus to be His witnesses “to all the people of Judea…that they should repent and turn back to God, performing deeds appropriate for repentance.”
It also states that they preached the word in many towns and villages, baptizing those who believed. They preached the message about Jesus as their Savior to ensure that everyone accepted the gospel (Acts 4:2).
So we see from this scripture that a baptism is an act of faith, not merely a ritualistic practice. In one spirit, we were all baptized into the same body. We were all born again by the blood of Jesus.
Everyone who was baptized became a Christian. All believers must follow the same rules and obey the same laws.
Christenings are important ceremonies. They help parents show their children the importance of faith. Children are prayed for by people who know them well.
People promise to take care of the children as they grow up.
What Happens At A Christening?
There are various ways baptism can occur; immersion, affusion, or pouring. The baby may be immersed in water, or sprinkled with water according to tradition. Some believe that water is used because it represents purity.
If a family has more than one child that needs to be baptized they can choose whether each child gets baptized separately or together.
The christening ceremony itself lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on how long the baptism takes.
The ceremony typically begins with the pastor reading scriptures aloud, followed by prayers and hymns.
The infant is then dipped in the water or sprinkled with holy water. Afterward, the baby is given a special blessing and some presents.
At the end of the services, the godparents walk the child down the aisle and lay hands on the child. The child will often receive a gift like a rosary or a cross necklace.
Should I Christen My Child?
Are you unsure if you should christen your child or not? Here are three benefits of baptizing children that could help you make your decision.
1. It Teaches Children More About Their Faith.
Through the baptismal experience, the parent explains to their child what the Christian faith means.
As a result of being baptized, children begin to understand the meaning of salvation and why they need to be baptized themselves. By becoming Christians, children learn they must trust in God’s love for them.
2. It Gives Your Child Godparents.
This allows godparents to teach and pray over them throughout their life.
Godparents are responsible for helping a child spiritually and physically, providing a home where they can go if their parents are sick, protecting them from harm, etc.
3. Being Baptized Brings Glory To God.
The whole world knows the child has been brought into the Christian faith.
When Should A Child Be Christened?
Children can be christened at any time, including when they are adults. The actual time and date of your service are dictated by your church, and you should check the availability of your selected godparents.
As to the age of your child – that depends on the parent and, to some extent, the requirements of your church! 40 years ago it was very commonly held a christening just a few weeks after a baby was birthed.
There is a lot more variety now in the ages of children being christened today. Some families will even have a christening for several siblings, or cousins, at once.
The most common age to be christened is about two months after birth.
The Significance Of Godparents
Godparents should be chosen to help guide the child in the faith. A godparent is someone who helps you grow up into a better person. In a christening, the godparents have a great influence over the child.
The godparents should be chosen to be someone who believes in Jesus Christ and wants to help the child grow up into a better Christian. The godparents are chosen by the family and friends of the parents.
They help raise the child in the faith. They pray for the child and show him or her practical ways to be a good person.
Origins Of Christenings
Before Christianity, Greek and Roman cultures practiced the rite of purification by washing the newborn child before introducing him or her to society. This custom was known as “baptism.”
Because of the spread of Christianity, many other traditions took place around baptism.
When Constantine converted to the new religion and made Christianity legal he decreed baptism as part of the conversion process.
Also, as Europe started moving west in the middle ages many of these rituals changed.
Today some denominations say that the sprinkling of water is acceptable even though it preaches immersion. However, most churches agree that immersion is the preferred method.
If you decide to baptize your child you need to be prepared for the whole process: choosing godparents, preparing yourself spiritually, deciding what time and where to have the service, etc.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you’ve thought about what baptism means for your child.
If you would rather give your child the choice as to whether they would like to be baptized into the Christian faith, you could discuss it with them when they are older.