What is a Baby Christening?
Christening a child is a Christian tradition practiced since the 3
century. The word christen
means “to bring to Christ.” Christening
in the 21
century is a baptism of a child to wash
away the original sin that we are all born with. This “original sin” stems from the Garden of
Eden story of Adam and Eve. Baby christening is done to promise to raise the childaccording to the way of God. It is a much more meaningful thing than a party. It declaresyour desire to raise this child to follow the teachings of Christ and the Bible. This is also aceremony where the church has a chance to welcome the newest member. Some religionsrequest the baby has Godparents, and the addition of a biblical name.
What Happens During the Christening?
A baby christening takes about 10-20 minutes. Christenings are usually held during regularchurch services so the congregation can welcome the child publically. Private christeningsmay also be arranged by talking to your church leader. During the ceremony the parentsand godparents will gather around the child in the front of the church. The religious leaderwill perform the ritual by either sprinkling water on the child or submersing them in water.During the moment of christening the baby is blessed in the name of the Father, the Son,and the Holy Spirit, to represent the holy trinity. The parents or godparents will then beasked to make promises on behalf of the child to believe in god, and follow the word of Jesus. Some religious leaders will allow the parents to choose hymns to sing after theceremony.
What does this Mean for the Parents?
If you do not know much about the Christian faith, your church leader may have aconversation about what means to have your baby christened. He or she will suggest that you first consider what it means for you to follow Jesus yourself so that you know the best way to fulfill the vows. Different churches approach this in different ways
some suggest worshipping regularly with the congregation or going on a course so that you are wellprepared to give your child the best start as a sacred member of the church. When parentschoose to christen their child they are making serious vows. A promise will be made tofollow and worship Jesus themselves, and teach their child to do the same. The hope is that when the time comes, the child will choose to follow Jesus and live according to him.
To be a child’s godparent means that you will be there for the child to help g
uide them in aspiritual manner, and sometimes physically if something happens to the parents. This doesnot give guardianship or carry parental responsibilities as defined in the Children Act of 1988. It states that parents wishing to appoint guardian should do so in their wills. They
have the duty to help raise the child to obey the church’s commandments as they grow.
Traditionally, godparents were chosen for their own strong Christian beliefs, so that theycould help guide the growing child in his faith. While this is still preferable in the eyes of the church, in reality, these days godparents are chosen more because they are closefriends of the parents or are family members. Godparents are supportive friends whoseChristian faith makes them ideal to pray for the child and teach him or her about following