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Different Faiths, Different Christening Traditions

Catholic? Lutheran? LDS? Non-denominational? Though we belong to different faiths, there's one thing that each baby blessing has in common: they dedicate children to Christ. However, each faith has additional reasons for blessing babies. And each faith has different formalities and traditions.

CATHOLIC:

    Kim M. wrote, "We are of the Catholic faith. Our understanding of baptism is that our children will be remissed of original sin. They will become part of God's family once they have been baptized. The baptism ceremony consists of the parents holding the child while the priest pours holy water over the child's head. We also have a Godmother and a Godfather selected to watch over the child. This is usually family members or close friends who are chosen for this special honor. Godparents must also have been baptized, received communion, and made their confirmation in order to represent the child. When the child is being baptized they are baptized in the "name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Baptisms in our church take place the fourth Sunday of the month and are not completed as a seperate ceremony. Many children may be baptized during the same ceremony. Children wear white christening gowns or suits. A baby blessing personally means that my child will now be a part of God's family and will be watched over closely by God. It also symbolizes the first of many sacraments that they will receive as a Catholic."

METHODIST:

    Dawn wrote, "Our grandchild will be baptized in the Methodist faith. It is when he will become a child of God and when his parents and family promise to raise him according to the Christian faith. He will be blessed using holy water and anointed with oil as the sign of the cross is made on his forehead. It is a day when family can celebrate the grace of God and the promise of salvation.

CATHOLIC:

    Natalie wrote, "We will baptize our new daughter Hope Elizabeth into the Catholic faith. In our faith this is the first of several sacraments that she will receive during her life. It welcomes her into God's family and his forgiveness of sins throughout her life. It is a very sacred ceremony and will be extra special because it will be performed by a Deacon instead of the usual priest. This Deacon is her grandfather and he will perform a special private ceremony at our church with our friends and family. This ceremony is wonderful because Deacon Tom gets all the children (siblings & cousins) involved in the ceremony. They will each hold something used in the ceremony like candles, oils, water, baptismal cloth, flowers, etc.. as he explains this rite of passage to the rest of the gathering. This is really unique and helps our friends who are not Catholic or Christian understand why this sacrament is so special to us. As Catholics, we also choose Godparents for the child. Their job is to be there for her and provide guidance for her throughout her life. If she has any questions about God or her religion, they provide an extra reference for her to seek answers. This Christening will be a very joyous occasion and assures us that God will always be watching over and guiding Hope Elizabeth on her life's journey."

CATHOLIC:

    Mary wrote, "We will be baptising Shannon, our daughter, on March 17, into the Catholic faith. She will be washed from Original sin, and have received her 1st sacrament in the faith. She will have a unique gift of having 3 Godparents. My husband's brother, my sister and her fiance'. I am so looking forward to her receiving this sacrament and being able to renounce Satan, for her."

CATHOLIC:

    Mike wrote, "In a week we will be baptising our new son into the Catholic faith. As baptism is the first of the many Catholic sacraments it stands as the foundation for them all. As everyone knows each baptism wipes away original sin and welcomes a new member to the catholic community, their is more to it than that. As much as the baptism is a religious ceremony it is a family affair."

EPISCOPAL:

    Shannon wrote, "We are really looking forward to my son Rowen's Baptism on April 29, 2007. It will be an Episcopal service with friends and family in attendance and the "church community" there to welcome our little boy into the church and into the Christian faith. Being of Irish heritage I am thrilled I was able to find such a beautiful bib and shoes with a celtic cross. Thank you for helping to make this day that much more special!"

CATHOLIC:

    Michelle wrote, "We are having our son baptised in the Catholic faith, we are both practising Catholics. We have already taken part in the rite of welcome ceremony at our church in which our son was welcomed into our parish and into the family of God. At this ceremony, we asked the priest for baptim for our child, and he was annointed on the chest with the oil of christ, made with a sign of the cross. We have both taken part in baptism preparation classes and it has reminded us and taught us new things about all the symbols of baptism including the cross, the white shawl, the font, the easter candle and the candle that we and the godparents light. We have already had our younger daughter christened just over a year ago and feel blessed that our children have been cleansed of original sin and welcomed into the world of Christ."

UNDECLARED:

    Amanda wrote, "My children are being baptized on June 10. I am so happy to be getting it done because my son just turned 4 which I thought to be too old, but my pastor says is a great age. My daughter is 10 months. I spent hours looking for their clothes; I want them to look perfect! I know it is not about looks, but I still could not help but find the cutest outfits for them to wear. The ceremony will be private for the family only. It will start and end with a prayer. The middle will consist of us all proclameing our faith and the children getting holy water poured on their heads from a shell."

CATHOLIC:

    Rosemary wrote, "Our Daughter Maya Sol will be baptized on July 7th at our Catholic Church. This is an important day for us since having baptized into our faith is only the beginning of her Catholic rituals. My cousin will be the godmother and our close friend the godfather. Our closest family and friends will be at the ceremony and reception to follow. The priest goes over the significance and importance of baptism. I can't wait till the holy water is poured on her precious little head. I find that each ritual is so significant and special for our little one. She's 8 months old and will look like an angel in her beautiful dress."

CATHOLIC:

    Rebecca wrote, "We are baptizing our daughter who was seven weeks premature at the end of July. Her baptism signifies our catholic faith and it blesses her in gods name. We are so thankful to god to have her and she is happy and healthy. On her baptism day her family and friends will be there and her aunt and uncle are her godparents. Being chosen to be a godparent is a very important role. I still honor my godmother who is my aunt on mothers day witha a card or flowers. They are supposed to be the one along with your parents to guide you in life and fatih. It used to be that if something ever happened to you they would parent your child. You chose people who have the same values and ethics as you do."

UNDECLARED:

    Just as a house must have a good foundation to support the structure on top of it, a Christian must have a firm foundation. As a result of Holy Baptism, children have Christ as the foundation upon which to build their lives.

CATHOLIC:

    Carol wrote, "I am Catholic and a Christening is the child's introduction to God and his blessing. It is a very important day in which family gets together to celebrate the life of that child with his faith. It was very important to me even more so because my father died 3 months before Vincent was born and I feel like they were connected through God that day. It also was important to me because I had two pregnancy losses before I gave birth to Vincent. It made me feel an even closer connection to God. I believe a Christening is an introduction to faith for the child as long as the parents are active participants along the way."

CATHOLIC:

    "My daughter Sofia will baptized of Catholic faith. To our family it's important to raise her and teach her of God and that He will always watch over and forgive her of her sins.and together with our family, friends and godparents, my daughter will have role models to teach her also of her Catholic religion."

LDS (Mormon):

    Alisha wrote, "We are expecting our third child in October. Right now we have two boys ages 3 and 1. When they were a month old they were given a baby blessing in the LDS faith. As a mother of these two little boys, I was able to sit and listen as their father and a circle of family and friends laid their hands on their heads and gave them a name and a blessing. The experience was one of great joy as I knew that both of my boys were placed in my care for a reason at this time. I am now excited to go through the experience again only this time with a little girl. I have searched and searched for a dress that I have felt would show a little girls innocence and beauty. I came across one on shepherds cradle that I have fallen in love with. I don't know why but to me a blessing dress is similar to a wedding dress. It has to be perfect and if it is the one you want it is the one that you should get. I don't want to look back on her day and feel that I cheated her out of something so special because I wasn't willing to search for the perfect outfit. But now I have found one and it will only add to her special day. I hope that others can be as lucky as me and find that perfect outfit for their little ones blessing/christening. Good Luck to all and congratulations on your bundles of joy."

CATHOLIC:

    Mindy wrote, "We belong to the catholic faith and feel strongly it is very important to have our daughter baptized that way. There is no way to get a better start with your faith than being baptized in your church with important family members present. Choosing catholic godparents was also very important for us so that she understands the important of our faith to us."

JEWISH:

    Jerika wrote, "Our son is due to arrive on aug 14th... We are a jewish family, so our tradition is different from many others... This cerimony called the "Bris" is the circumcision. The circumcision is not done in the hospital, it is done by a jewish "Mohel". the tradition is basicly a covenant between him and god. the outfit used is supposed to be white like an angel. there are prayers recited, and the baby is also named with a hebrew name at this point. the "Bris" is done on the 8th day of the childs life."

PRESBYTERIAN:

    "We are Presbyterian. Baptism of an infant is a joyful and solemn occasion at which the community of faith celebrates the birth of the child and the child becomes a part of that community of faith. The parents make solemn vows to bring the child up in the Christian faith. The minister takes water from the chalice and places it on the head of the infant. He baptizes the child in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost after the parents have made their solemn vows. The minister then takes the baby down the aisle and shows the congregation this new life."

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