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Christening Vs. Baptism

Veena Aruldass Jul 21, 2020
The terms christening and baptism are generally used interchangeably, but are two separate entities.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. - Acts 2:38
So what is the difference between christening and baptism? It is said that all Catholics are born with the original sin, the sin committed by Adam and Eve because of which they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, by God.
By receiving the sacrament of Baptism, we enter into the kingdom of God and become anointed members of the Church. The original sin is forgiven and we are born anew into the Christian faith.

Difference Between Christening and Baptism

Many use the terms baptism and christening interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two terms. Baptism is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church.
The seven sacraments (Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick) are of great significance in the Catholic Church. Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, as we are born of the water and the Spirit. Baptism is necessary for salvation as Jesus has said in John 3:3-7:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again."
It conveys an eternal sign that the individual is now a child of God. Jesus Christ himself was baptized by John, the Baptist on the Jordan River.
Baptism, in a nutshell, is the act of welcoming a new infant into the enlightenment of Christianity. Christening, on the other hand, refers to the naming ceremony, wherein the child is given a Christian name.
The word, Christening has its etymological roots in the word, 'Christ', and like Baptism, it too has significance in religious parlance. Christening is not limited to naming of individuals alone, but also refers to the naming of an object, an organization, a movement et al.
The acts of Baptism ritual and the ceremony of Christening are both very much related to public celebrations of a child's naming and his enrollment into the Christian religion.

Baptism Ceremony

Baptism doesn't get limited only during the infancy period of a child. Even a non-Christian who decides to take up Christianity as his chosen path, can also be baptized. However, christening an infant is the most prevalent practice. 
Baptism existed much ahead of christening. If your baby is going to be baptized, then here are a few interesting ideas for invitations so that your friends and loved ones can join you in celebrating this special occasion.
You can customize your newborn's Baptism invitation by adding a cute photo of your bundle of joy along with beautiful words. If you are ready to experiment, you can put in some witty quotes also. Pictures along with quotes or as a watermark in the background can include crosses, white Christening gowns, baby pictures, candles, angels, church scenes, etc.
For the invitation wordings, you can choose to keep it simple by just mentioning the name of your newborn and the date, time and venue of the celebrations or jazz up the invite by putting in rhyming verses or a few creative lines. You can also add a nice touch by having Bible verses or quotes from the Bible as well.

Baptism Invitation Sample 1

"Let the children come to me... for to such belongs the kingdom of God." - Luke 18:16

A precious gift from heaven above is awaiting to be welcomed into Christ's family with love.

You are invited to attend the Baptism of our son/daughter (name) on (date and day) at (time) (venue)

R.S.V.P. (your name and telephone number)

Baptism Invitation Sample 2

You are cordially invited to grace us with your presence for the Baptism of (name of child)

Venue: ....................
Date: ......................
Time: ......................
and thereafter join us for lunch at (Mention Address)

R.S.V.P. Tel: .................
Email ............

Christening Ceremony

The Christening ceremony is when you name your baby. The child will be known by this name for the rest of his/her life. You must have selected the baby's name with a lot of care or most probably decided on a name even before the baby was born. 
Though finding a suitable name is important, other things like arranging the ceremony and Christening etiquette cannot be ignored. An important part of the preparations is the Christening outfit. There are gorgeous gowns for the baby girls and there are cute Christening outfits for boys as well. 
These white outfits will make your newborn look like an angel, but this should be thought of well in advance or there may be problems regarding the availability of the type of outfit you prefer or the correct size as well. You need to take care of the shoes, socks, bib, hat, blanket and other accessories as well. Also, do not ignore the child's comfort.
If you are looking for gifts, then the perfect Christening gifts include a monetary gift that will be helpful in the child's education and future, a bracelet or necklace with the child's name or initials inscribed on it. 
TheHoly Bible also can be gifted, as it will help in strengthening the child's faith in the religion, s/he is born in. Other Christening gifts can include baby clothes, toys, etc. You can make this event a memorable one by putting in various innovative and creative ideas.
Hope this is clearing the concept of Christening vs. Baptism and has also given you some ideas on how to make the Christening ceremony of your little angel a memorable and special one.