Baby christening is the first step if you would like your baby to be brought up as a Christian. It is also a great way to get the whole family together to celebrate your new arrival. The ritual of christening a baby also brings together family and friends for a very loving and intimate celebration. However, parents of the baby should know how to plan this event and acquire knowledge about this lovely celebration.
Your first step in planning your baby’s christening will be to call your parish, or the church at which you intend to hold the service, and reserve the service date and time. Usually, the church will have a registrar or administrative assistant who will answer the phone and take care of this for you. Occasionally, the christening of your baby will be during a regular Sunday service. Depending on the church, the service may be at a date and time of your choosing, and be a private service. Choose a date and time several weeks out – preferably five to six weeks to give out-of-town family and friends the opportunity to plan ahead for their trip to your baby’s christening.
Godparents were chosen for their own strong Christian beliefs, so that they could help guide the growing child in his faith. Once you have reserved the church, you will need to think about your baby’s Godparents. In recent centuries, Godparents are chosen more for their ability to take over the responsibility of the child, should anything happen to him while their child was still a minor. While this is still preferable in the eyes of the church, in reality, these days godparents are chosen more because they are close friends of the parents or are family members. However, for the sake of your child, it is worth taking time to choose a godparent carefully. If you are choosing friends, think about what role you would like them to play in your child’s life.
When a child is born the mother and the father announce the fact to their friends by of cards. These may be obtained in the prevailing style from any good stationer. Sometimes only one card is sent bearing the names of the parents and that of the child or the word ?son? or ?daughter? if the name has not been decided upon. Another fashion which has become standard is the use of two cards, one somewhat larger than the ordinary visiting card and attached to it by tiny white ribbon one very much smaller bearing the name of the infant.
Buy your baby’s christening attire. Typically and traditionally, girls and boys have worn a white or cream-colored gown for their christening. Oftentimes this gown is passed down through generations in the family. If you have not received a handed-down gown for your baby, you may purchase a christening gown at any department store.
If the christening is to be an occasion of great formality and elaboration the church should be decorated, not elaborately as for a wedding but simply and prettily with smilax and ferns and delicate white flowers or in some other way that will indicate that the event is for child and for an older person.
The child?s christening robe should be simple but exquisite. The child may be brought more gracefully, carried on a pillow. The mother usually wears a reception gown and accessories. The women sponsors are similarly dressed while the masculine guests wear the prescribed outfit for the reception, a nice dark dress suit, etc.
After the ceremony is over and the youngster has been duly admired and sent back to the nursery, there may be a reception or tea or even a dinner or breakfast, according to the time of the christening, for the guests. If the baptism took place at church the guests may drive immediately from there to the home, allowing the transport containing the mother and father to precede them by a few minutes. If it took place at home matters are simplified, for the guests may pass into another room or the font may be placed to one side.
If there is a breakfast or luncheon served the clergyman who performed the ceremony is invited to be present, and whether or not it is customary to ask a blessing he is requested to pronounce one.