Christening Day!!

So a few days ago N got Baptised into the Catholic Church. I personally am not Catholic, but Clare is and we agreed many moons ago when we got married that any children would be brought up Catholic so a Christening ceremony was in order…

In fact we agreed they will be Catholic Tottenham fans.

Now I’m not one to push religion on to people, far from it. I believe everyone should have the right to believe whatever they want, whether they believe there is a God or not, and any other religious beliefs.

I believe the diversity this brings is fantastic.

As such, the reason I’m writing about this is not to persuade anyone of the benefits of Baptism, rather to capture the day for N for the future and share some of what happens for anyone else considering a Catholic Baptism. If you don’t believe in this then fair enough, but it’s important to us.

What Is A Christening?

So what’s the difference between a Christening and a Baptism?

A Christening is the ceremony in which a Baptism takes place. Sounds simple enough right?

A Baptism is the first of seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. The different sacraments are done at different stages of the life of a Catholic, including for example a wedding, or the last rites, which I’m sure you’ve heard of.

The Baptism is done early on in a persons life, generally when they are a baby. This is to remove ‘original sin’ in Catholicism.

But what’s that?

In short when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden his sin was inherited by everyone born subsequently. As I said, a Christening is to remove this ‘original sin’.

What Happens During A Christening?

There are a number of key steps taken during a Christening, including of course, picking the godparents! It’s an important job! N has four godparents and they will do an amazing job I’m sure.

In terms of the ceremony itself:

  • Firstly you are asked what name you have given your child and what you have requested from the church (i.e. a Baptism!)
  • There’s then various statements you agree to, such as that you will help the child develop their faith, and similar for godparents, and putting a cross on the babies head with water
  • Following this the priest would then say a prayer to remove original sin and put a cross on the babies chest using oil of catechumens, or as it is termed the oil of salvation
  • The water in the baptismal font is then blessed ready to continue the baptism
  • You then agree to statements about your faith, to essentially profess your faith, such as agreeing that you believe in God
  • The child is then baptised with the holy water which was blessed earlier in the font. You basically hold the child over the font and water is poured on their head
  • Following the baptism the baby is then wrapped in a white garment to represent a new birth and an outward sign of faith
  • Next a candle is lit for your baby. This candle is to represent the light of Christ and faith, and it’s on the parents and godparents to keep the candle of faith burning
  • There is then the Ephphetha, or prayer over ears and mouth. The intention is that the prayers over the ears is to receive the word of Lord Jesus and over the babies mouth to profess the faith and praise God

In essence that’s the ceremony. I’m sure I’ve not done it justice but it’s a basic understanding for you.

Christening for N

So in terms of the ceremony itself that’s essentially what happened. I, Clare and the godparents all stood at the front of the church for about twenty minutes while this happened. Holding a nine month old for that long was certainly my job, he’s not light by any means!

N did very well indeed and was a good boy. He wasn’t fond of everyone putting a cross on his head and so would hide in my chest, and occasionally would try and batter me by slapping my chest and kicking his feet, but he didn’t whinge much and at least didn’t cry (only a little as I held him over the font and water was poured on his head).

We had loads of people there which was fantastic. I’ve quite a large family and a lot of them came which was fab. It’s always good to see everyone together and catch up with them. Similarly with Clare’s family, lots of them came which was fantastic, especially when our nephew on Clare’s side was later playing with our nieces on my side. He loved it!

After the Christening we went to a local cricket club for a celebration. This was fab as we could relax a bit more with some great food & drink, company and a fantastic cake. We got all of our food (other than the cake) from Costco. If you’ve never got food from there before you’re missing out, it’s superb. We got things like wraps, sandwiches, pork pies, sausage rolls, antipasti, sushi, fruit and tiny tiny cakes.

We also went all out and got a very special cake. It really was a truly fantastic cake. Someone I used to work with has set up their own cake company and we commissioned her to bake a cake. Victoria sponge cake on top plus chocolate cake on the base layer. Cover it with icing, create a train to go on top and you’re just about there! Amazing!

Lucky Boy!

He was a very lucky young man in terms of gifts from everyone. He did so well!

We are planning on getting him a book with loads of photos of his Christening from us for when he is older so he can know what happened. His Nana got him a cross with Noah’s Ark depicted on it and a children’s Catholic bible. Grandpa got him a little silver train which looks amazing plus a coat. Other things he got include a lot of money to be saved for him for in the future, vouchers, books, clothes, toys, bookends, special cutlery to learn to use a knife and fork, and so many other amazing things.


The whole day went so well. Yes it was stressful organising it and preparing it on the day, but when everything started it went so well.

The ceremony went brilliantly and the priest received lots of compliments from those that came. The cricket club were so helpful, food amazing and cake brilliant.

Most importantly of all though N was a little star. He refused to sleep for much of the day as there was just too much going on, but he still didn’t cry. He did so well and we are both very proud of him for being such a good boy.

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