What happens at a christening?

Written by stephen lilley
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What happens at a christening?
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The Basics

A Christening is a religious ceremony common in Christian denominations. The idea behind a Christening is to publicly declare that a newborn son or daughter will be raised to be devoted to the teachings and ideals of Jesus Christ. During a Christening a child is Baptized, properly named, and bathed in sacramental holy water. The Christening is also there ceremony at which both a child's parents and godparents acknowledge the ethics and ideals by which their child will be raised - namely, that they will be raised to be a Christian.

Pre-Ceremony

In order for a child to be christened, many churches and denominations require a child's parents to undergo "Pre-Ceremony Christening Counseling." This is done so that the parents are made fully aware of exactly what a christening is, why it is important, and what will go on during the ceremony. It is important in the Christian religion for parents to completely understand exactly the commitment they are making for their child by having them christened.

The Ceremony

During a christening, a child is clothed in a specialised outfit designed purely for this ceremony. The outfit is meant to symbolise the virtues of cleansing and purity, and is white in colour. At the start of the ceremony the parents of the soon-to-be-christened child proclaim to all in attendance that their child will be raised to be Christian, and then the baby is baptised. At this point, the priest gives the parents a lit candle that is said to represent Jesus. Certain denominations of the Christian faith will also require the child to be named at this point, though this is not the standard.

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