christening, baptism, baby dedications & naming
what’s the difference?
Even though the words baptism and christening are used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference.
Christening refers to the naming ceremony (to "christen" means to "give a name to") where as baptism is one of seven sacraments in the Catholic Church.
There are Infant Baptisms, Believer Baptisms, Adult Baptisms, Christenings and Naming Ceremonies
INFANT BAPTISMS One of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Catholic church decreed that the church was to “claim” a child for the church soon after they were born, (within 8 days).
Although in the sacrament of Baptism the baby's name is used and mentioned, it is the rite of claiming the child for Christ and His Church that is celebrated.
BELIEVER BAPTISMS Some argue though that Baptism is a choice that should only be made by the person who is being baptized when they reach the age of discernment … in other words, around age 7-9 or older when a child can independently understand what God represents, rather than just parroting what their parents or church teachers tell them.
ADULT BAPTISM For an adult, Baptism represents a deliberate act of identification with the person of Jesus Christ and his Church.
This decision implies a personal relationship with Jesus and is a way of showing others you've made the decision to walk through life with Christ.
CHRISTENINGS Christening is defined as “the ceremony of baptism, especially as accompanied by the giving of a name to a child.”
Although christening is most common with infants or small children, the Church of England’s policy (Protestant) is that anyone can be christened, whether adult, child, or infant, “so long as they have not been baptized already.”
Furthermore, they state that children can be “christened at any age.”
Along with the baptism component, the name-giving component can be a big part of the Christening ceremony as it is seen as a welcoming of the child into the family proper.
NAMING CEREMONIES Parents who aren't part of a faith community celebrate the birth of their child by "officially" giving them a name in front of family and friends.
This welcomes the child into the family and to the greater community.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BAPTISM AND A NAMING CEREMONY? There are two kinds of child welcoming ceremonies. One is called a Baptism (or Christening) and the other is called a Naming ceremony.
The main difference is that the Baptism / Christening is a religious ceremony, whereas the Naming ceremony, while spiritual, is not religious in its content.
IS THERE AN ADVANTAGE BETWEEN THE NAMING AND THE BAPTISM CEREMONIES? Not really It just depends on your confort level and faith background.
Its like the difference between a church wedding and a civil wedding. One is civil the other is spiritual.
WHAT IF I'M NOT A MEMBER OF A CHURCH? You'd be surprised at the number of people I've married, buried and christened who had rejected the dogmatic demands of their church organization.
It doesn't matter to us whether you've "earned your stripes" at a church or not, a new addition to the family is a miracle of birth and parents should be able to celebrate their new arrival with a ceremony.
Remember too that there is no pressure on anyone to explain their own spirituality or lifestyles. The parents are not asked to affirm anything they do not believe in or to involve themselves in any organization.
CAN I INCLUDE MY OTHER CHILDREN? Yes!
A Welcoming Ceremony is not just for infants, children of any age can have a Ceremony. You may wish to include your older children in the Ceremony as well as your new baby.
If so, there is only an additional $25.00 admin fee per child, and they also recieve a certificate.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY CEREMONY UNIQUE, PERSONAL AND MEANINGFUL? We send you a sample ceremony where you're invited to peronalize to your comfort level.
You can make your ceremony special by including the family's own selection of words, poems and Readings.
CAN WE INCLUDE A BAPTISM CEREMONY DURNG OUR WEDDING CEREMONY? Absolutely!
I have married a number of couples at the same time they've introduced their child to the family with a Naming, Baptism or Christening ceremony.
DO THESE CEREMONIES HAVE LEGAL STATUS? Unlike birth registration where you receive a copy of the birth certificate, which is a compulsory legal requirement, these ceremonies are simply a celebration that you as parents choose to do as a public gesture of love and commitment to your child.
The certificate may in some cases help your child enroll in certain schools later in life.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND OUR BAPTISMS Can the baptism certificate you recieve from
me be used to enroll your child in a
Yes and no.
A child is automatically granted admission
into a Catholic school if:
- A child is baptized by a Catholic priest
in a Catholic church.
- If one of the parents can prove
they were baptized Catholic.
In both these cases these children are enrolled first. Then all others if space allows.
So, even though the Catholic Church in Canada accepts all baptisms as legitimate, if a child is not baptized Catholic and neither of the parents are Catholic, then the child is placed on a waiting list.
Having said all this, policies and procedures do change. It is always best to confirm this information with your local Catholic school to see if this policy is still in place.
HOW DO I ARRANGE A CEREMONY? Fee free to contact me and once we both agree on a date and time, start sending out the invitations!
HOW MUCH IS THE HONORARIUM? Including sending you a sample ceremony and providing a Certificate (and certified copy) suitable for framing, $350.
We ask for an initial deposit of $150.00 once we confirm our date/time, and you can e-transfer the balance a day or so before the ceremony itself.