Baptism and Christening Ceremony Rituals
Baptism is a Christian tradition and ritual that is performed on infants, which is also sometimes called Christening. It is a rite of admission in to the Christian Church through the use of water, just as Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan. In some religious order, baptism is also a type of sacred indoctrination where certain practices are observed. It is believed that it is a must if a person wants to be saved after death.
In fact, in the Roman Catholic order baptism is one of the holy sacraments because it was instituted by Jesus Christ as a way to give grace to those who will be baptized. Also, undergoing baptism cleanses the person of the original sin. The Lutherans believe that baptism is mandated by God. Meanwhile, the Methodists believe that it is a symbolic form of giving grace and does not actually cleanse the baptized of their sins.
The details of the ceremony of baptism vary from one group to another but there are some common rites that are followed. Typically, parents and their chosen godparents bring the child to their priest or minister who then pours water on the child's forehead. Some religious denominations sprinkle water. Some of those to be baptized are partially or fully immersed in water and was the practice depicted in many early Christian art.
And even though it is not required for the baptismal ceremony, many parents send out baptism invitations (try our friends at Greeting Card Universe)
During the ceremony the parents and godparents vow to be a good influence on the child and the godparents are also meant to stand as second parents to the child and care for him or her in case something bad happens to the parents. They each also carry a lighted candle all throughout the baptismal rites.
A baptismal certificate is also a standard during the ceremony. This is signed by the officiating minister or priest and serves as an official document and record of the time and date of baptism, as well as something to keep as a memento for the parents.
After the christening ceremony the parents and guests have a party to celebrate the occasion. Often the chosen godparents give gifts to the child. Traditionally, some gifts like jewelry are given to the child to wear on their baptism day.
In modern celebrations of a child's baptism, parents will often have a memory book where they can keep everything from the baptism like a scrapbook. In this book they also let the godparents and guests sign and write dedications for the baby. It is also customary for the parents to give baptism and christening favors to the godparents and guests during the celebrations. This can be traditional items like the boubouniera or Jordan almonds or it can be the usual items such as clothing and toys.