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The Christening Service

If you are in the process of looking for a Christening present or a Baptism gift, this probably means that you will be attending a church service or naming ceremony in the not too distant future. What can you expect on the day?

Like any rite of passage, Christenings and Baptisms combine formality and celebration in equal measure. Whilst the ceremonial side of the day may seem daunting at times, it is important not to forget that this is a happy occasion to be enjoyed, even if you do get cornered by Great Aunt Maude over the tea and cucumber sandwiches afterwards.

We list below the most common services you are likely to encounter. More information is available about The Godparents Role and, to help your put your current situation into context we've provided a small list of The Queen's Godchildren.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND SERVICES

If you need a complete picture of Anglican Christening or Baptism services, you will find the most concise and easily understood description at:

http://www.cofe.anglican.org/

In essence, there are three potential Christening services:

a) Services that follow the orders of service in The Book of Common Prayer of 1662

b) Services that follow the orders of service in Common Worship

c) Services of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child

In the Church of England you will usually find yourself at a Common Worship service rather than a service found in The Book of Common Prayer. The full text of this can be found at:

http://www.cofe.anglican.org/worship/liturgy/commonworship/texts/initiation/baptism.html

In essence, the Christening is held as part of an existing church service. The baby is taken to the font during the service where parents and god parents make their declarations. The baby is then sprinkled with water on the head three times in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A candle may be lit at this point representing the light of Christ.

CATHOLIC SERVICES

For an explanation of the Catholic service, visit:

http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/faith/celebrating/baptism.htm

Baptism is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and follows similar lines to that of the Anglican service, however, although they can take place as part of an existing service, it is likely that you will end up attending a private service.

HUMANIST & CIVIL SERVICES

Civil ceremonies can be held almost anywhere, including at home or at a community hall or hotel. Ceremonies can be tailored to the family’s own selection of words, poems and readings. Local authorities are increasingly making their Registrar facilities available for naming ceremonies, so you are just as likely to be attending a naming service in the Register Office as in the family home.

For more information on non-religious naming ceremonies, visit:

http://www.humanism.org.uk

DON'T FORGET

And last of all, don’t forget to take one of our stunning sterling silver Christening gifts with you as a lasting memento of the happy day.