However, most christenings today are smaller, more intimate and less formal gatherings, often at the home of the parents. Your vicar may even suggest that you take the time to think about your faith and consider being christened yourselves. Water is used during the ritual as a symbolic ‘cleansing’ of Original Sin, which the Christian church believes we are all born with. At a christening, a baby is welcomed into the Christian faith and the church congregation. Understanding the full details of the baptism ceremony can be helpful, but the following is a basic order of events to help you get a sense for what happens: Reception of the child - The priest greets the parents and child, hears the name of the child, and makes the sign of the cross on the child's head. What Happens at a christening? Using such potent symbols as water, oil, and fire, Baptism is a powerful sacrament that washes away original sin and its effects. Since then, Baptism has been the ordinary means of becoming a member of the Church. Traditionally, parents chose to have their children christened because they wanted them to be brought up in the Christian faith. As a symbolic gesture, the priest or deacon makes the sign of the cross with his thumb gently on the forehead of the child or adult. Other fragments of Christian faiths such as Baptists or Christadelphians don’t baptise people until they come of age. Read more: Meghan Markle wore a white Dior dress and matching fascinator for baby Archie's christening In infant Baptism, the priest or deacon asks the parents and the godparents whether they’re willing and able to fulfill their duties to bring up this child in the Christian faith. Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Other parents wish to create their own family heirloom, so invest in a gown for their first child that can then be used for subsequent children and grandchildren. If the service contains the Liturgy of the Eucharist, Holy Communion will be taken at this point. The vicar will make the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead. Some parents may even wish to buy an outfit that can be used again. Smaller christening parties are commonly held at the home of the parents. A new family: Baptism also connects us to the “body of Christ” – his people in the earth. As a church we will promise to welcome your child and pray for their family. All the church asks is that you have a degree of faith and are aware of the commitment you’re undertaking on your child’s behalf. Your ceremony will be totally personalised to you and your child, announcing to the world that you are officially naming and welcoming them into your family. Champagne is essential to ‘toast the baby’s life’ and is often accompanied by speeches from one of the parents or godparents. It’s usual for babies to be christened during the main Sunday service, and in most cases, several babies are christened at the same time. Baptism, christening, and dedication ceremonies serve as an introduction of the child to the church and follow the sacraments as ordered by God. Baptism is the one sacrament that all Christian denominations share in common. When choosing the gown and accessories, bear in mind your child’s age, the season and how warm or cold it will be in the church. The celebrations can now begin! We believe this because the Bible says that infants can believe (Matt. Baptism is the first passage of a number of sacraments a practising Christian takes on their journey through life. A certificate is then signed by the minister or priest, documenting the ceremony. The vicar will have explained how it will proceed and what parents and godparents should do. Much like a wedding dress, a christening gown is a fundamental feature of the ceremony and holds great meaning and sentimental value for the parents. Even the parents can be their child’s godparents as long as there is one more baptised godparent. The water symbolizes being purified after being born into the sin of humankind. The baptism certificate serves as a sentimental piece for the parents and is considered an official document. An individual service will take between 20–30 minutes, a Sunday family service takes around 35–45 minutes, and a mass with Holy Communion about an hour. Although there is no pressure to commit to your local church, once the christening is over, your family are warmly invited to attend church and community events when you can. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb and His resurrection from the dead. The importance of baptisms varies by denomination. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The parents, baby and godparents will sit together, usually in the front pews. If not, the service will continue with suitable prayers and the service will finish with The Lord’s Prayer and a final blessing. While the celebration of Baptism within the Mass is encouraged, in most churches, Baptisms are done outside of the celebration of the Catholic Mass. There are other elements to a baptism service, including promises made by godparents on behalf to the child to reject evil. The synoptic gospels recount that John the Baptist baptised Jesus. In a christening service parents thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith and godparents promise help and support. The amount of water that is used depends on the sect. 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