Christening Traditions & Ideas
Posted on 29 August 2017
Unsure about Christening your baby? Don't know what they should wear? Can't decide on what baby gift to buy? We are here for you! Take a look at traditional Christening themes, and today's more modern, popular takes on this sacred event.
A Traditional Christening
A traditional Christening through either the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church is more commonly known as baptism. Today, baptising children is done with warm water to ease any discomfort and is typically done by marking a Cross on the baby's forehead, and then pouring water over the child's head to wash away sin. Catholic services of baptism also include anointment with oil, known as 'Chrism'.
Churches prefer to hold Christenings during the normal Sunday service, with other children and families that usually takes place in the morning. However, you can request a private Christening with perseverance, and you will need approval from your local Parish Vicar or Priest. In this case, the Christening will happen in the Afternoon.
Traditionally, babies were Christened as soon as possible after birth. However today, it is more common for parents to Christen their babies at an older age. Many parents prefer to wait until their second child has been born to have a joint Christening, to enjoy the event as a family, and can wait until the child is older so that they remember the experience.
Traditionally, three godparents should be chosen, two of the same gender as the child, and one of the opposite. Today however, there may be six, sometimes more. Godparents are usually a mix of relations and friends. The Church of England requires godparents to have been baptised themselves, and the Roman Catholic Church asks for one of the godparents to be a practicing Catholic and full member of the church.
What should my child wear?
White is the traditional colour for Christenings, and this was usually adopted through a gown or robe. The Royal Christening robe, reminiscent of Queen Victoria's wedding dress, was made of white lightweight silk satin, trimmed with Honiton lace. The robe included four elements; the gown, cloak, cap and mantle/cape, and usually paired with matching slippers or shoes. Over the years, the colour of the robe changed from white to cream, to ivory to magnolia. Prince George wore an exact replica of the Christening robe in its current form, as the original was deemed too fragile. Princess Charlotte wore the same gown for her Christening.
Christening gowns can be passed down through the family as an heirloom, however they tend not to fit bigger babies, or older children. A dress and shawl look the best traditionally, however today modernised outfits are more popular. Boys now typically wear a white shirt with white trousers or shorts or a traditional shortie romper, and girls wear a white dress.
However, both churches do not require parents to dress their child in white for the ceremony. In this case, they ask for the child to be wrapped in a white garment or fabric, as a sign of their new life with Christ.
Lazy Francis' Christening collection provides different and unique options for Christening outfits.
It is not necessary to give a gift if you are invited to a Christening, however traditionally, godparents should give a gift to the child. Traditionally, long-lasting gifts should be given to the child; the most traditional of these being gifts made of silver. Other gifts include wines or whiskeys which will refine with age, for the child to drink when they are of age. However, today a lot of Christening gifts are of more sentimental value such as personalised or engraves ornaments or toys, such as rattles, blankets and bonnets and sometimes specially made jewellery.
Wonderful high quality embroidered pima cotton bonnets and blankets make perfect christening gifts for babies.