Baptisms and Christenings are an important part in any family's life. A lot of people think that these ceremonies are the same things that go by different names. This is not the case, however, they do share several similarities and can often be used interchangeably. There is a difference and that's what we're here to talk about. So what is the difference between the two? This changes based on the religion and the age of the person involved. Let's take a look at the differences between a christening and a baptism:
Baptism is a ritual in Christianity-based religions, where the one accepting the faith has an ablution performed on them. This is a necessary process that is used to welcome newcomers to the faith. As an act of purity and submission to the individual's new faith, the person has water run over them. The person is then declared a Christian by the church. There are some differing opinions on how a baptism must be performed. Some insist that in order for a baptism to be official, the person must be fully submerged in water. Others state that graphic representations from history show baptisms performed by simply sprinkling or pouring water over the individual. When infants are baptized, these are referred to as infant baptisms and are often different than adult baptisms.
Christening typically includes an infant baptism. Christening is the process by which a newborn is dedicated (sometimes referred to as "Introduced" or "brought" to God and/or Jesus Christ. In a christening, the child is named beforehand cut their name is officially announced by the church to make sure it is known that the child is named as such. This ensures that the child is blessed by God throughout its life. Despite popular belief, christenings do not indicate that the child has accepted the faith. Christianity dictates that the child must choose to accept the religion through free will. Therefore, christenings are not an acceptance of faith on the child's part but a blessing on the part of the parents and church.
The difference between the two is in the process. Christenings are performed during an infant baptism and can only be performed on infants. Christenings are announcing the name of the baby, and since adults already have their names, they cannot be christened. Adults can be baptized. Baptism is a sacrament and a dedication to god whereas christenings are a naming ceremony. Because adults can also be baptized, it is a more voluntary acceptance and is seen to be more of a dedication to God and the faith.
Both Christenings and Baptisms are an act of commitment. Because baptisms are often performed on adults on a voluntary basis, it is considered to be more a commitment to God. Christening is something that the child really has no say in and as such is seen as more of a commitment to the church than a commitment to God. Both terms have been, and will continue to be, used interchangeably due to their similarities. However, they are different and now you know how.
Jill Fox is the owner of Maylee's Boutique. They provide children's clothing for all special occasions, including baptisms, christenings, weddings, and other occasions. For more information, please visit http://www.mayleesboutique.com/.
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